Friday, February 28, 2014

Running towards my goal

The weeks are flying by and I am glad to see the beginning of Autumn tomorrow. It's been a pretty uneventful week for me but I thought I'd pop in and update my running and how I am going towards my goal. I am doing max two runs a week at the moment, mostly due to laziness. Some runs are better than others and the last run I did, I managed an average pace of 4 minutes 44 seconds over 4km. Not that quick, but not bad either. 30.82km over 8 weeks is not much at all and if I want to reach my goal of 300km this year, I need to get running a lot more often!

I was considering running a half marathon in May, but that definitely won't happen so I might try for one I saw being held in September.

Apart from the little effort of running, I've been doing a bit of a workout every night/every second night that involves 2 sets of: 20 crunches, 20 squats, 20 lunges and 20 sit ups. I just do it while I'm watching TV or waiting for Steve to make my coffee in the morning. I've been doing it about two weeks now and so far so good. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Steve celebrated his Birthday this week and we all know I am a lover of all things Birthday! We kicked off the celebrations with dinner at the farm on Friday evening where we had the first Birthday Cake. I got him a chocolate mousse cake from Lorraine’s Pattiserie in the city and it was divine. If you need to buy a cake, go there!
The next lot of celebrations happened on Saturday evening at Kingston Public in Newtown. We went with his cousins and sister for a couple of drinks before heading to a cafĂ© a few doors down (can’t remember the name) where we shared a tasting platter. The tasting platter was awful. Gross, old food. Lucky the cocktails at Kingston Public more than made up for it. They have a great selection on the menu and the bar staff are really friendly.
Monday was his actual Birthday. Every year, I put a sign up that says ‘Happy Birthday’ for him to wake up to. He went off to work and we met for lunch with his sister and her husband and went to Reuben and Moore in the Westfield’s food court for a delicious roast meat place. Have you been to that place? If not, go there asap. The food is amazing!
I cooked Steve a Moroccan roast chicken with roast veg for dinner, sourced from the David Jones food hall which was followed by an array of desserts from the same place and then some other delicious treats that Steve’s other sister bought from the Health Food Store in Newtown. After dinner we all went for a nice walk with Ted which was a lovely way to end the day. We will also be going out for dinner Saturday night which will be a lovely ending to his Birthday week.
Steve, you are the best! I hope you had a fantastic Birthday and I am so glad you got excited this year because it isn’t much fun when I am the only one excited even when it’s not my Birthday.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What did Rhi do on the weekend?

We popped over to S's family farm on Friday night because his Step-Dad was home from a 3 month trip overseas. It was a bit of a late Christmas/Early Birthday celebrations for S. We were served delicious golabki (Polish cabbage roll) that was followed up by a decadent chocolate mousse cake that I got at Lorraine's Pattiserie near the Ivy in the CBD. S's sister and her boyfriend were there too, so it was a lot of fun and as usual, the camera was brought out and we got heaps of funny shots. 

The pants I am wearing I bought from the Iconic. They are the 'relaxed fit' style pant with the lower crotch that come in at the ankle (though, don't have an elastic ankle). Umm, why didn't I buy these type of pants sooner? Comfort heaven. I wore them Friday night with a t-shirt, scarf and sandals and the following evening I dressed them up with heels and a nice top to wear out for drinks.
We aren't afforded the luxury of a sleep in when at the farm because Ted is up with the sparrows, harassing us to take him outside. When no isn't taken for an answer, one of us gets up to let him out and watch that he doesn't wander too far. Lucky for me, that was S this past weekend. I had my first ghost experience at the farm on Friday night that did not scare me at all. Everyone has experienced it at some stage or another, so I suppose it was time I did too. Nothing too exciting, I woke up in the dead of the night and felt a pressing feeling on my ankle. I thought it was Ted, but he was on the other side of the bed and when I sat up to look there was nothing on my ankle. My first thought was ghost, I told it to go away and went back to sleep. Odd.

After S had been up for a bit, I dragged myself out of bed and took the camera out to take some snaps of the early morning light. It's a peaceful place to be at that time of the morning and the horses are usually really friendly and come to say hello. Ted has a horse friend named Jacqui who he says hello to each time and she gives him a sniff too before trotting off to do her thing.
How was your weekend?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hair care

I used to not really care what products I used in my hair. Garnier, Herbal essence etc were regulars in my trolley and over time, I realised these products were the reason my hair was dry and gross. Garnier made my scalp feel like I was wearing a silicon cap! I switched to sukin upon recommendation from a friend and had a horrible time with it. I would wash my hair and dry it and it would feel oily and tacky to touch. I thought I wasn’t washing my hair properly so gave it a few more tries before looking for a new brand.
Next on the list was Alchemy. I LOVE the smell of the jojoba conditioner which is what drew me in originally. After washing my hair with alchemy, I found my hair took longer to dry than usual and when it did, it was thick and hard to straighten. This pretty much coincided with my hair cut from long to short hair and I thought that was the problem for a while and stuck it out. My hair would be hard to get straight and there would be kinks and the under layer of my hair would flick one way whilst the top another, making me look like a 1950’s housewife with a bob. After a while, I was truly over it and longed for my long hair that was so easy to get right (even though it would kink or curl when I went outside anyway).
S’s sister had some Klorane shampoo/conditioner in our shower so one day I decided to try that out after reading the bottle and seeing that there was camomile in it. The shampoo glided on to my hair (I don’t know how else to explain that). There was lather, but not too much, it smelled nice and the conditioner went on just as smoothly. I dried my hair and already it was soft and almost straight. No more big frizzy lumps of half dried hair. I straightened it, went to work and came home with still perfect hair. I’ve since taken ownership of S’s sisters Klorane because it made her hair dry. I’ve been using it for about a month now and still my hair is fast to dry, easy to straighten and still looks good in the afternoon and even the next day. I haven’t looked like a 1950’s housewife in a month, yay!
All that to say, you can take recommendations from people but really, what works for one person won’t work for another. I resigned myself to thick, frizzy hair but after enough searching I found the product that works for me (for now, anyway). S’s sister has fine straight blonde hair and Klorane didn’t work for her. I have thick, curly brown hair and it is the best shampoo/conditioner I’ve used on my hair yet.
What products do you use on your hair?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday is my least favourite day of the week. I am over it by Wednesdays!
Finally, my ozsale order is on-board with the driver ready to be delivered today. Don’t remember what I ordered? Neither do I. I thought it was too good to be true when I ordered my nail polish and it seems it’s just that. I ordered 4 weeks ago and am just getting them now which is way too slow in this day and age.
In other more exciting delivery news, my coffee beans are coming today. I’ve had two mornings in a row where I had to wait until I got to work for my coffee and it’s a struggle. Last night was a late night because I was up doing some Japanese and despite sleeping right through my alarm, I was still a zombie when I got off the bus. S was joking that I am more of a 12pm-6pm person than a 9am-5pm person.
Yesterday was a really stressful day at work and there was only one solution for that – a stiff drink. S and I ducked out of work earlier than usual and met at Baxters Inn for a little tipple which ended up being a couple of tipples and some pretzels. That place is perfect for unwinding and the old fashions aren’t so bad either. Actually, when I am stressed and think I need a drink (I don’t do that often), I never think of wine or vodka etc –always whiskey. Something about that strong taste that washes the stress away.

I didn’t write a post for the past weekend because the truth is, it was too boring. I did eat out once, but didn’t take pictures and apart from that I was at home/the library. I could tell you all about my library adventures but it would bore your socks off and I am pretty sure that is not what people come to this blog for.
This is a really random post which is why I don’t mind slotting in this next part… I need new clothes for Winter. I know what I want too, but the shopper in me does not know where to start looking because well….there actually is no shopper in me. I want: black leather ankle boots, a green (khaki? Is that what it’s called?) parka type jacket, woollen jumpers, a black vest (but not a daggy one) and some other bits and pieces. Tell me – where is your go to for shopping? I want clothes that aren’t too expensive but that will last the whole season at least.
And that is all for today, folks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What did Rhi do on the weekend?

When I write these posts, it is usually Monday and I really have to rack my brain to remember what I did. Now it's Wednesday and I've forgotten most of it!

Ok, Friday night – I had some friends from highschool over and made them delicious pulled pork bun burgers. They were unreal burgers! I wish I took pictures but the camera was away because I didn’t want them to ask me why I was taking photos of my food which would inevitably lead to me telling them about my blog that I keep a secret in real life. Anyway, when I cook it again, I will put the post up because it was really easy and I got a 10/10 from everyone.
Saturday morning we pretty much stayed home all day and I sewed my little heart out to finish the dress from my previous post. I had almost finished when I looked at the clock and it was 8pm. I declared there would be no food cooking that night and we went on up to Wagaya in Newtown for a quick bite and then up King street to a new bar I had discovered earlier in the day called Kingston Public. Fantastic cocktails! I love a good cocktail, especially if it is a little citrusy and these did not disappoint.
 Sunday morning was reserved for more sewing so I could finish my dress…until we got a call from friends asking to head over to Rushcutters Bay so S and T could play tennis. So we went over there, I played with baby H and we had to be out of there within two hours to avoid a fine. On the way home, S declared he felt like going for a drive and we made it like 1km before we stopped off at Potts Point for a coffee…which turned in to lunch when I saw how delicious the burgers the people next to us were eating looked. Seriously, so good. Burgers are just soooo delicious sometimes.

After all that, I finally did finish my dress and I flopped on to the couch with a mega sore back and a dress to wear on Monday. How fun!
The good side of that is, it’s only 2 sleeps until the weekend, yay!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sewing - Simplicity 2444 in Silk Cotton

After a long 18 month hiatus with sewing, I have finally finished another dress. I used Simplicity 2444; a tried and tested dress pattern that has featured around here previously. The dress fits my figure really well, cinching in at the waist and then flaring out.

This pattern seems to be pretty easy to make and I found the hardest part was putting the dress together after I cut the pieces out a little wrong. Fine after I fixed it though. The hem is really hard to do, I've found and I don't even know if they match up to be honest. I still have a little work to do on the dress.

This is also the first dress I have lined which was a far easier process than I thought it would be. For the dress bodice I used a Lisa Ho silk cotton that I bought from The Fabric Store in Surry Hills. For the skirt I used a silk/cotton that I bought from Darn Cheap Fabrics (I also bought the bodice lining from there) and the skirt lining was a cotton voile I picked up from The Fabric Store. 

Even though I pretty much had to sew the dress twice due to my own cutting out, I found the process to be simple and the dress turned out well. In hindsight, I am not sure this pattern was meant for beginner sewers but since I've now made 3 of these dresses they are starting to look better. Can't wait to get back in to sewing and try out other patterns!
I love this photo. Ted came over to see what I was doing while I was trying to pose.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's run its course

Friendships are exciting, fun, easy, hard and sometimes, heartbreaking. If there is one thing I have learnt over the past few years is that friendships come and go and sometimes, history means nothing. I have had a close friendship for many years that has started to head in the wrong direction. When I felt like I had put too much effort in and got nothing in return, I started to pull back and reign in the amount of effort I put in. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), the effort from the other side never changed and my lack of contact was never questioned. While pulling out the effort, I was putting less emotions in and I started to not hurt as much every time a promise was never fulfilled.

There is a saying about how you should never rely on happiness from anyone but yourself which is so true, but yet not. It is hard to receive a text from a person who says they ‘miss you so much’. Then you try and organise a catch up and what do you know, you don’t hear back. Or maybe they promise to organise a catch up to make up for the last time they let you down and it never happens. Suddenly 6 months passes and you’ve had the same conversation every month that has eventuated to nothing.
I guess friendships can be a little like relationships. You keep putting more in thinking the other person will change and they will come around. Except, that never happens and over time you start to build resentment for the things that you thought would change to begin with. Then you wonder if it was your fault and you start to think about the friendship and what role you played and what you did wrong. Yes, of course you did something wrong along the way, but was it your entire fault? Probably not.  
Over time, I have built other friendships. I now regularly catch up with people I didn’t even know 5 years ago. I will admit that I don’t have a huge amount of friends. In fact, apart from a select few I still keep in touch with from school, the only other people I catch up with now are ones who I have met through S. Sure I’ve had my own friends along the way, but those friendships run a course and all too soon you are only facebook friends with not much in common. One of my goals this year is to try and make new friends that I can catch up with and invite to dinner. I’m not sure how, but I will figure it out I’m sure.
Steve and I are friends with a couple we see almost once a week. They have a really wide group of friends that they make an effort to keep in touch with regardless of the fact that they have a 6 month old baby. They have people over for dinner at least twice a week and they enjoy entertaining. I love and admire that they do this and I hope that in the near future Steve and I can learn to open our home to friends and family more regularly. To be honest, it isn’t that I don’t want to, it’s that I don’t really think to. It doesn’t have to be a lavish meal. A simple meal with a drink and some laughs is all that is needed to keep in touch with people and to let them know you appreciate their friendship. Hopefully by doing this we can create a network of friends that are there for us and in return, we will be there for them.
There isn’t really much point to this post to be honest. I just had thoughts in my head that I wanted to write down so here it is!

Have you had any friendships that you thought would last run their course?

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Weekends are for exploring - Surry Hills

After being in Manly on Saturday morning and getting home at 9:30am we still had a whole day to fill. After a glorious nap I got up and boldly declared that the afternoon would not be wasted sitting around at home. S and I got in the car with plans to go for a drive which turned in to driving to Surry Hills for a look around. Surry Hills rarely ever has parking but we were lucky to find a spot on Crown Street right across from the of course we HAD to look at the markets. 

I was surprised at the variety of different stalls and impressed with the low prices on clothes. I've been to Glebe markets before which I find to be on the expensive side of things so I expected the same from Surry Hills markets. Well, happily I was wrong. I scored some denim shorts for $5 (perfect fit, too) and a pair of earrings also for $5. They had an okonomiyaki stall too which is my favourite food ever and despite eating lunch like half an hr earlier I was not one to say no (am I ever)

The markets aren't huge and we were done pretty quickly, so we went for a wander around Surry Hills looking at the beautiful terraces. I love that there are so many nice and quirky pubs scattered about and would love to try a few more out some time. The Beresford has a great outdoor area that was packed so we couldn't get a seat so I'll have to go back another time.

The beresford outdoor seating area
By the time we got back to Crown Street, S's sister had finished work and she came to meet us at the Clock Hotel for an afternoon drink. The clock hotel is huge inside and has really nice booth seating. A nice spot for a quick drink on a Saturday afternoon and not too busy at all.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Early morning in Manly

Last week, S asked me for a huge favour. 'Can you please drop me at my fun run on Saturday morning, Rhi?'. 'Sure, what time?'......'6am'. Whaaattttt. That meant I had to be up at 5 to get ready quickly and pick up a friend before driving to Dee Why. He is lucky I love him and that there was an offer at breakfast at the other end. I must say, I don't wake up that early ever and I was dreading it. I even tried to talk him out of going at one point. I actually ended up enjoying it though and after dropping the boys off in Dee Why, I drove down to Manly, found the last car spot in the place and trotted across to the cafe S's brother works in for coffee. All with my little side kick, Teddy. 

After I'd been sitting down sipping coffee for half an hour, Ted got bored and demanded we go for a walk, so we did just that. We walked up to Shelley beach admiring the sunrise along the way. Thank goodness I took the camera because it really looked amazing. Once we started heading back to the main beach I realised people were starting to reach the finish line so we picked a spot and waited for the boys to finish. 
 After they finished (and both beat their PB!!), we wandered on over to a cafe called Bacino for breakfast. I forgot to get pics but if you're ever in Manly looking for a great breakfast then this is definitely the place to go. It is inexpensive and the food is really delicious.

I don't venture over to Manly often, but I am glad I got to this weekend. It is such a nice place early in the morning when it isn't full of people!