Monday, September 30, 2013

To cure your boredom

Happy Monday friends.
I have seen series like this around on a few blog and really love them, so I decided to start my own. I don’t promise to post it every week, though. Feel free to waste as much time on the internet as I do.

This article was posted in the New York Times. A lady who is 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring from the man of her dreams. Interesting...

- I need new cushions for my home and since most people love to look at cushions, I would recommend checking out this site.

- I don't live in Brisbane, but this is the shop (The Happy Cabin) of someone I know. It has a great collection of cute things. They do online shopping now too.

- An artists impression of the modern day Disney Princesses. This is really cool.

- A horror film that was filmed inside Disneyland without permission. I am a sucker for scary films. The scarier the better. Here is the promo video.
- This video is hilarious. I'm sure if you have children you can relate to this.

- This video really makes you think. It's ten minutes long, but well worth the watch. I would love you hear your thoughts on this one!

Not a very long list, but enough to keep you procrastinating for a little bit at least.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baxter Inn - Review

I, like many other Sydney-siders have heard of or been to The Baxter Inn. Baxter's is located down a somewhat dark and run down walk way, hidden behind office buildings through a tunnel. Sound confusing? It is. The first time I went to Baxter's I stood around on Clarence Street looking for signs of this cool bar I'd heard of, until someone also going through offered to show me the way. Now I am the one showing people how to get in as they mill around on the street looking for the same entrance I once did.

The place opens at 4pm and getting there any time after about 4:30pm means you might have a short wait outside as there is a limit to how many people are allowed in at once. For good reason too. Too many people and the place feels pretty small which is not helped by the underground location (no windows).
There is a lot of whiskey available at the bar; being mainly a whiskey bar and the whiskey + (fresh) apple juice is a real favourite. The bar staff dress like they are working in the 1920's adding to the really fun atmosphere of the place.  The decor is well thought out and really gives you the feel of what it would have been like to go to a bar many years ago. No area was spared in the interior design of the bar with the bathrooms also having been done up. The wood panelling bathrooms are dark and a little dingy, but cool anyway. 
S and I decided to pop by Baxter's on the weekend after shopping in the city. We were the first people in there and had time to speak with the bar staff to get a recommendation of the best drink to choose. We went with Old old favourite of both of ours. I love the addition of a bowl of pretzels, though once I start eating them I can't stop!
I know underground bars are not for everyone, especially when you have to line up 90% of the time, but this is a favourite of ours and we often go for a little drink after work. 

How to get to Baxter Inn
Baxter Inn // 152 - 156 Clarence Street, Sydney.
- Head to Clarence Street and walk to 152-154. 
- You will see a tunnel that looks like a drive way down to an alley - walk down there. 
- Turn right and Baxter is at the end on the right. There will either be a line of people waiting to get in, otherwise it is down a concrete set of stairs. 
The Baxter Inn on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Enjoy your fabric!

Usually when I am buying fabric for my sewing adventures, I head over to Lincraft as it is in a good walking distance to work. Since their selection is no good, the shop is chaos and I walk out frustrated every time, I decided that I needed to turn my attention to some of the better fabric stores in Sydney. I have not sewn since probably six months ago because I just couldn’t find any fabric I loved at Lincraft and also because I have been really busy with Uni and work.

I went to The Fabric Store which is located in Surry Hills, Sydney. The Fabric Store gets a lot of rolls of fabric from designers that have used it for past seasons. The store is in a warehouse type setting and is clean, tidy and organised. S’s sister is a little fabric maven so she came along for the adventure to help me choose what I needed.
I bought this pattern recently and I’ve seen some great pictures of shorts people have made using it so I was inspired to make one or ten pairs for Summer. I bought a great greeny DKNY fabric that is 100% cotton for my first make of the shorts. The fabric was $18 a metre and I’ll only need a metre for these shorts, so when you consider the quality of the fabric $18 is not too much at all.
I bought this pattern for a blouse a long time ago and made a practice blouse in some awful royal blue with small dot fabric. Who knows what I was thinking when I bought that fabric as it is the stiffest, ugliest fabric out. Anyway, it’s good that I had it on hand, as I used it for my practice blouse and worked out that I needed much more relaxed fabric and that I need to sort out the neckline the next time I make the blouse if I want to be able to breathe.
I bought a lovely 100% silk Lisa Ho fabric for the task. I bought 2 metres of this, so hopefully there is some left for a skirt or maybe even some shorts. The fabric was $24 a metre and seriously, at $24 for a silk blouse why doesn’t everyone make their clothes? Just kidding. But in all seriousness, $24 is a steal for such quality material, so I better not stuff this up!
The staff at The Fabric Store are really knowledgeable and the service is great. They are happy to wander around with you and give you advice and they even smile! You don’t get smiles at Lincraft, only sighs and frowns. 

The Fabric Store//21 Cooper Street, Surry Hills

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A new name

I never liked the name 'Vanilla Bliss' for this blog. I chose it one night when I was sitting on the couch with S. I had decided to create a blog and sat there playing with words. For some reason, I came up with Vanilla Bliss. At the time, it was ok...then as time went on I disliked it more and more. I was embarrassed to tell people I blogged because of the name. 

Ebb and Flow means to decrease and then increase; as with tides. The term is often used metaphorically and I feel like it describes my blog and the way I blog, well. I have always liked the saying and thought it fit this little space . 

I decided that updating the name would also call for a new blog design, so I jumped on etsy to see what I could find. If you are ever in the market for a new blog design, etsy is a great place to look. Many talented people on there that even have pre-designed blog designs so all you need to do is upload it.

Hopefully with a new name and design, I will be motivated to blog more often. I was quite busy this weekend and have a few posts coming up this week with the happenings around here; including a couple of cafe/restaurant reviews.

I hope you like it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birthdays all 'round

My youngest brother, Jack turned 16 on the weekend. I know, when did THAT happen? I moved out of home when he was a little 11 year old and barely in high school and now he is a teenager that resembles Justin Bieber. My parents hosted a family party for him on Saturday with the theme being Coca Cola. 
If there is one thing this kid loves, it’s a coke.
When I got there (after my 1.5 hour drive to woop woop), Mum had already set up all the tables and decorations and Dad was hiding in the man-cave so he didn’t have to help. I kid, he was cutting out props for the photo booth (and taking his sweet time so he wouldn’t have to do anything else). My Mum knows how to put her husband to good use.
and we know how to put a photo booth to good use
I walked through the front door and could hear my Mum talking away (to anyone/thing that will listen) and there was not another person to be seen. I thought they might all be out, but no. They are teenagers; they were playing their playstations/Xboxes in their rooms (der), with the doors closed. I went in to Jack’s room to give him his gift and the room was pitch black. Curtains closed and no lights on…optimal conditions for a game on the Xbox. I would show you the perfectly wrapped gift, except it was not perfectly wrapped. It was put in a country road bag without even a bag. I know, I fail.
The outfit I bought him

Mum loves a good party and any excuse to cook for the herd is a good one. We had a nibblies spread, followed by a nachos buffet and then the best course – a dessert buffet. I was so hyped on sugar by the end of the night that I went home and promptly sugar crashed in front of the television. Poor S; no conversation for you! (He couldn’t come to the party as he had an exam today he had to study for).
Part of the dessert buffet
On Sunday, my sweet little puppy turned 5 years old. Lucky for me, he is not a human and did not demand my undivided attention all day because I had to do Uni work for most of the day. I did take him on a couple of walks though and rubbed his belly and told him he is special so he was happy with that.

In other news, I went to the Vogue fashion night in the city on Thursday night with S’s sister. I remember going a couple of years ago and being wowed by all the discounts. I think we even picked up a pair of jeans for free, though that was because the sales attendant was busy talking when scanning rather than the actual sale. This year, not so good. Too many people and I wasn’t really in to it. The highlight of my night was trying on this Zimmerman skirt and declaring my undying love for it. This thing will be in my hands soon enough (I hope). I was told shops still do lay-by so I think I'll pop in to the store soon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekends around here

S and I are in the midst of some busy studying both now and in the near future. This past weekend was largely spent doing work, but in my usual ways - also going out for coffee.

I get cabin fever really quickly. I can't sit at home Saturday we went for a walk with the dog up to Newtown for a look. Our good friends came over with their little 5 week old and I had baby cuddles for most of my morning. In the afternoon, I took advantage of the amazing weather and took Ted, a picnic blanket and my uni notes to the park so I could read in the sun. I was disturbed by Teddy countless times...every time he saw another dog but that did not deter and I sat there until every reading was done. A success!
This picture is here because the top is new and I love it! Also..big hair, don't care.
On Sunday S was ready to sit down and study for an upcoming exam and me for an assessment due until I decided that I couldn't waste a whole day looking out the window at the sun. I want to be IN the sun I said to S so off we went. Our usual cafes were full with people brunching with their fathers so we decided to head to Erskinville to check out what was around. 
I always drive through Erskinville but have never stopped there so was pleasantly surprised to see a cafe called 'Fleetwood Macchiato'....Fleetwood Mac..Rhiannon, get it? ha. That was the seller for us so we sat down for a coffee and a muffin. The coffee is really good there. I hear the roaster of the coffee lives in my street or close by, so maybe I need to hit them up for some beans. 
Not much else happened for the rest of the weekend around these parts apart from countless dog cuddles and some grocery shopping. I know, how very domestic of me.

How was your weekend?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Entertainment Book - Sydney

I don't know about you, but I love a bargain...and free stuff. I am trying to save for a house; in Sydney, so you can't really blame me. I heard about the entertainment book through work who are selling it for the Christmas Party fundraising. You can get a book based on location, such as: Sydney, Sydney North, Sydney Greater West etc. Obviously I bought Sydney as I live in Sydney.
It is full of vouchers for fine dining, cafes, restaurants, dry cleaning, take away, fast food, the cinemas etc. You name the category and it is probably in there. The restaurants are not crap restaurants either. I was a huge sceptic before I bought this book. I thought 'who would buy that, it probably only has shitty cafes that no-one goes to anyway'. I was mistaken and gladly so.
The book cost me $65, though I think the price varies depending on the region you buy for. I got it two weeks ago and already I have saved $65 from the vouchers so it has paid itself off. Earning its keep from day one. I am not getting paid for this review, nor do the people who created the book even know about this tiny little blog. The point of this post is to let you know that if you buy the book, we can all be a bit cheap together save money.
So far, I have only used vouchers for places I regularly go to. I am a creature of habit, I know. I do however intend to use the book to open my eyes and find new places. Perhaps ones I even need to drive to! I was surprised at the list of offerings available and am really keen to try out a few of the places I would usually never venture to. Most of the deals are either for 25% off or a complimentary main meal when another is purchased. Obviously up to a certain value, but still a great offer.
Some offerings in the fine dining section in Sydney include: Ocean Room, Bistrode CBD, Cafe Sydney, Kobe Jones. As I said, the offerings in the book are not too shabby.
If you don't have an entertainment book, I'd highly recommend grabbing one. Even if you don't want to save money because you're rolling in it, it's a good way to find new places to eat out.