Monday, March 31, 2014

Movie club Monday

Most weekends I watch one or two films, so I decided to start documenting them and writing reviews. I’d also love feedback on what you thought of the film (if you’ve watched it) and any recommendations you might have of other films I could watch.

This weekend we watched The Game and Talented Mr Ripley (we also watched Good Will Hunting too, well S did.. I slept through it).
The Game

This film came out in 1997, so it’s a fairly old film. The title itself drew me in and since I base a film on the title or cover, that’s was a win straight away. The storyline to this film was intriguing and reeled me in from the start. I judge a good movie based on how many times I pick up my phone and since I didn’t touch my phone at all, I’d give The Game a 10/10. The film is about a banker from San Francisco (played by Michael Douglas) who is wealthy and a bit of a loner. He meets with his Brother who has been treated for mental illness and addiction and is given a unique Birthday present that the rest of the film is based around.

I won’t tell you much more than that because the whole storyline is tied together, but I will say that I thought I had picked the ending early on but ended up being very wrong. You can read the full synopsis here on IMDB.

The acting in this film is well done and I thought each actor brought talent to the film. It was easy to follow and didn't give too much away. As I said, considering I didn't pick up my phone once, I give this a 10/10.

Talented Mr Ripley
Another 90's film from 1999, Talented Mr Ripley was equally as intriguing as The Game, though didn't keep me as focused. I would say that was because after watching one film, I struggled to keep focus for a second.

The film is about a young boy sent overseas to bring home a mans son. After failing, Ripley takes extreme measures and again, I won't give away any more of the plot but you can read more here. I wasn't able to pick the story line in this film either and found myself confused a few times when it came to figuring out what exactly was going on. It was a bit of a 'look down and you'll be confused' type film. 

I really liked the characters and found them to be loveable as they all had their own little quirks, good and bad. I give this film an 8/10 simply because it left me confused at some points.

Have you watched any good films lately? What are your favourite genres?

I'd love some suggestions!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to get cheaper flights (interstate)

Since my bestie moved to Brisbane, I have been a lot more aware of the prices of interstate flights since I look at airfares regularly. Since I am also saving and will be for some time, I don't just log on to a website and accept any price they are advertising. Apart from buying flights during sales, there are a couple of ways I have discovered where you can pay a cheaper price for flights than is being advertised on a company's website.
1. Expedia. Not the Australian Expedia site, the Japanese one (I haven't tried any other country, only the Japanese as I can figure out the exchange pretty easily without using a converter). The website is in Japanese but this can easily be changed by selecting 'English' in the top right corner.

Search for your flights, put in the time you want to fly and more often than not, the price you are given is cheaper than what is advertised on the Jetstar website. I have booked flights to Brisbane for a couple of weeks time and the Jetstar website advertised the flights for the times I want to go for $260 return. A quick searchon expedia (altering the times as early morning is the default) gave me the price of 17,600 yen which is about $185. On top of that, there is a 1,300 yen fee for paying with your visa card which brings the full price of my return flights to about $200. $60 cheaper than the Jetstar advertises on their website.

2. The other way I recently discovered for buying cheaper flights is taking advantage of Jetstars 'price match' clause. I tried this for my flights to Brisbane, but unfortunately I couldn't use this method as the flights you are matching need to be within 60 minutes of the Jetstar flight times. Tiger had only one flight after 12pm on Thursday and that was for 2:30 pm. A fair few hours before I wanted to fly. This method would work if you were flexible with your times but since I have to work Thursday I could only travel after 5pm. 

These are just a couple of ways that I look at each time I fly. Do you have any tips for cheaper flights?

Friday, March 28, 2014

More OPI and Teddy

Another sale of OPI on ozsale and I couldn't resist snatching up a few more polishes. For someone who had previously hated painting their nails, I've certainly come around from that. I had a $10 voucher for the delay in the last shipment and what better way to spend money than on nail polish.

The colours I got last time were hit and miss. OPI I don't give a rotterdam, OPI Panda-monium pink and OPI Sparrow me the drama were my faves while the other two - Manicurist of seville and An affair in red fair were a big miss for me.

This time, I went for colours I knew I would wear and I looked on google to see reviews/what it looked like on other people before I picked my colours. I now have on order: OPI My Chihuahua bites, OPI Koala Bear-y and Dulce De Leche. All nice colours that I will probably use often. According to Ozsale they should be shipped today making the process at least 5 weeks shorter compared to the last.

I am getting a lot better at painting my nails yet and while I don't do fancy patterns etc, at least I am colouring inside the lines!

Ted is not a fan of being startled, so of course the other night when someone rounded the corner and took him by surprise he let out a big bark. He growled as the guy walked past and then when he was out of ear shot he let out another bark as if to say 'keep walking'. I love guessing what Ted is thinking. He gets embarrassed when he is caught by surprise and it's hilarious to see him bark when HE is startled because he is not much of a barker at all.

At 5 years old, he is still learning new tricks. His latest is learning the difference between left and right, or rather..which paw to put up when I say left and right and he's learning quickly. In saying that, he would probably do back flips for food.

Happy Friday, friends! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hello, it's Wednesday

Hello Autumn, my old friend. The weather has been really nice of late (not that we really got a Summer) and I've been pulling out my jeans and long sleeve tops. But then the humidity sets in and alas, Autumn is not here. Make up your mind, weather. I don't know what to wear to work!

It's been pretty quiet around these parts. After a few months of having no manager at work, I will finally have a new one come Monday and to be honest I am not sure how I feel about that. I like doing my own thing, but it will be helpful, I'm sure. I did manage to score a window seat in an office shuffle that happened today. When I look out, I can see Steve's office and the spot that he proposed (sigh.... hahaha). 

Headed in to town on Saturday and had high tea at the Sheraton with my dear friend. It was a delicious carb fest and I don't regret one bit. Champagne upon arrival, a nice selection of sandwiches, pastries and scones and I was ready to take on anything. Until the sugar crash hit... Nothing a walk around the city couldn't fix and a little looky through some wedding dress shops (no, not for me). Actually, being out the whole day exhausted me and that night Steve and I had plans with friends. We ended up at some place called Dive bar in Darlinghurst that was kind of cool, but full of 18 year olds and well, I wasn't feeling it. I called it a night at 10pm, got in the nearest cab and went home to crash out.
Once upon a time, weekend breakfast was a regular occurance. Saturday and Sunday would see us at a new cafe gorging on whatever took our fancy. These days, savings is in full force and I'd much prefer to spend my money on a nice dinner out. I was never a fan of breakfast anyway, so not much was missed there. Last Sunday, however, I decided I felt like pancakes and with no flour or sugar in the house we had to go to breakfast. I was expecting more since the last time we went to Esthers Kitchen I had some divine pancakes with a poached pear and delicious coulis, but this time did not step up. Firstly, since when do cafes put fresh fruit on pancakes that isn't banana? Fresh orange on pancakes? Huh? Secondly, where is my poached pear and thirdly, half way through our meal they put up the 'cash only sign'. Um, we don't carry cash and the nearest ATM is a 5 min drive away. Ah well, it wasn't all that bad.

So, I've been engaged all of three weeks and I already had a bad wedding dream last night. Look, I haven't even started planning the damn wedding and I am having bad dreams. A sign of what's to come? I don't know, but it doesn't help me actually want to plan a wedding.

And there you have it, this blog post only has pictures of food!

What has everyone been up to?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Engagement Party Planning

One thing I have decided for my wedding is that it won’t be a big one. I am playing around with ideas of who I will invite or even what type of wedding it will be. Steve and I decided that since the wedding is likely to be next year at the earliest and because we don’t plan on having a big wedding (and inviting everyone), that we would have an engagement party to celebrate with friends and family.

For us, it is not a gift grab and in fact I will most likely write ‘no gifts/money’ on the invites. I just want to celebrate with the people I love and those I don’t get to see that often.

We’ve decided on the venue which is a pub near us. Before anyone throws their arms up in disgust, let me say that the venue is really beautiful. We are low-key people. We don’t plan parties. In fact, in the 4 years I’ve lived at my house I have never held a party..because I don’t plan. So, we chose a venue that reflected us and where little fuss is needed. Pretty much we will book an area, choose the food, send out invites, put on a bar tab and sit back with a martini saying ‘my work here is done’. I don’t know about you but that is my ideal party planning. I don’t want to pick centrepieces for tables or colour themes or seating plans. That’s way too much effort and it simply doesn’t interest me.

We’ve decided that the engagement party will be in a couple of months and I am really excited already. The minimal fuss that has been involved has been great for me. My bestie is making the invites because she is just a gem and I’ve already got my outfit, so there isn’t much left to do except sit back and wait.


Did you have an engagement party? Was it a big one, or small?

My week in numbers

Obviously I have been a bit slack on the old blog this week, so here is my week in a quick run down.
2: Number of times I have eaten dinner out this week
2: Number of coffees I have had today
1: Number of besties I am missing today (and seeing on Saturday woohoo)

4: Number of crème eggs I’ve eaten this week
1: Number of runs I have gone on (um, might need to work on that)
1: Number of engagement parties I am planning (yay!)
0: Number of weddings I am planning. Haha, definitely still not keen on planning that. Not even pinterest has helped me!
5: Number of times I have worn my hair up this week :-( I got it cut last week and the hairdresser thinned it out. Now it doesn’t sit nicely at all. Grow hair, grow!
1: Number of packages I received this week. My engagement party dress!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Anniversary Weekend

It is beyond me that Steve and I just celebrated our 7 year anniversary. It seems like not long ago that I was a fresh faced 17 year old fobbing him off at every chance because I was too nervous to say yes to a date. Lucky he persisted because he sure is a keeper!

Our anniversary weekend kicked off with dinner at Glebe Point Diner (mentioned in this post). After Steve proposed, he told me he had planned another surprise, which was a weekend away at the Blue Mountains. I was so excited and happy that he had planned the whole weekend without me knowing as I usually know everything that is going on, ha!

We drove up around midday Saturday and stopped off at a cafe in Wentworth Falls for lunch. Obviously I didn't go for the #cleaneating choice but then again, I rarely do. This burger was on a damper bun and so delicious but probably a little too big for me. Lucky I had Steve to help me out. We finished lunch and went off to check in to our accommodation at Falls Mountain Retreat. Steve booked us a loft apartment and it was really spacious. It even had the added bonus of a spa bath. Much needed after an afternoon of hiking!
Wentworth falls has a number of walks to go on and Steve and I chose to walk to the bottom of the falls to get some pictures and video. It was pretty busy and the stairs were seriously treacherous but we made it back in one piece with the added bonus of sore legs. 
I know people hate when pictures are different sizes on blogs but I can't figure out how to change it. Oh well.
After our hike, we headed back to the room for a spa bath and to get ready for dinner that Steve had booked at Lilianfels. I found the food to be ok at Lilianfels, though not great. It could have just been the food I ordered as Steve says his meals were great. I ordered spanner crab for entree and didn't like that at all; mains was beef with veg and dessert (by far the best course) was parfait. The dessert was delicious and fresh and a nice ending to the meal. Unfortunately we got there too late and saw no view of whatever Lilianfels looks over as all I could see was the reflection of other diners.
In the morning as I was packing up, I heard a kookaburra that sounded close. I opened the balcony door and saw the little fella sitting on the balcony so went out to get some pictures. Something tells me he was pretty tame because he didn't flinch even though I was inching closer. I tried to give him some seeds we had as snacks but I guess kookaburras don't eat that as he kept spitting it out.

It was such a great weekend and I'm happy Steve planned it all as a surprise. I've said before that he isn't really the romantic type, but I stand corrected!

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Monday, March 10, 2014


Our anniversary was this weekend and Steve told me to leave the planning to him. Friday morning, he told me we had a booking at one of our favourite restaurants that night which was exciting because we hadn't been there in over a year. We left the house at 7:45pm and on the way (a 5 minute drive), Steve said 'the booking isn't until 8:15pm, let's go down to Blackwattle Bay'. I love the bay, it's my favourite walking spot so I wasn't too fussed. I had absolutely no idea what was coming either. 

We got down there and he had our camera out, which was still not unusual and handed me the lens bag. He told me to open it as there was a surprise waiting for me, so I did and sitting inside was a ring box. By now, I knew what was coming so I pulled it out and opened it up and the most perfect ring sat inside. Steve asked if I would marry him and of course I said yes! The smile is still sitting on my face days later! 

Afterwards, we went up to the restaurant for dinner and then called all of our friends and family to share the good news. I am overwhelmed with all the love we have received, it is so so nice!

I have been asked if Steve got down on one knee to which I answer, 'No, I did not want him to propose to my crotch'. We aren't too traditional anyway and I probably would have laughed at him so I'm very happy he didn't get down on the knee.
Being engaged is such a happy time. We don't have any plans to start planning the wedding yet as we just want to enjoy being engaged for now. It took us 7 years to get to this point, so there is no rush. Not only that, I need to figure out what sort of wedding I actually want as the thought of planning any wedding does not really appeal to me much at all! Time will tell!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Making: Nothing! I am in between projects at the moment. Next on my list is Pattern Runway gathered sundress

Anticipating: The weekend! Oh how I love weekends. I’ve had a pretty flat and boring few weeks so the anticipation for weekends starts every Monday morning when I wake up at 6:30am.

Reading: How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran. I read mixed reviews, but thought I’d give it a go. I’m not too far in yet, so I will report back on my progress soon. I just finished the first two divergent books and loved them, however wasn’t too sure about getting the third book. I found them a little repetitive. Have you read the third one? Was it good?

Listening: To London Grammar. Over and over and over. I love them!

Wearing: Work clothes. Loving my bow blouse from top shop…also loving relaxed fit pants (hello elastic waist).

Looking forward to: A few days off at the beginning of next week for a recharge. My anniversary this weekend!

Thinking about: A long lost uni friend who I’d love to get in touch with again. I have texted but not sure if she has the same number. Time will tell. It’s a shame I let that friendship slip by because she is a beautiful person.
What about you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ARIA, Sydney

On Saturday night, we concluded Steve’s birthday week with a dinner at ARIA. I have never been to such a restaurant before so it was a real treat and I loved every minute of it.
First up we went to O bar for a pre-drink because we loved the view so much last time we were there. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get a window seat but the view was still spectacular so no losses there.
When we walked through the front door and after confirming my reservation, they promptly wished Steve a Happy Birthday before leading us to our table. I thought the restaurant was well spaced out and was happy it wasn’t too crowded or loud. We chose the 7 course chefs tasting menu and a nice bottle of wine to match. Honestly, I could not fault the food at all. I didn’t love every course, but that was more my palate rather than the food itself. The absolute best course in my opinion was the duck consommé and I have been dreaming of it ever since.
The service was impeccable and the staff really had a lot of knowledge of the food and wine. They were also attentive without being too overbearing which I find with a lot of restaurants.
I would write down all of the courses, but I’m not sure it is that interesting, so here is the link so you can take a look yourself :-)
Dinner took a few hours which is expected when you have 7 courses. They took their time bringing the food out each time which was so welcome. I didn’t roll out the door like I have done after degustation’s previously.
Afterwards we continued the night at the Grain bar at the Four Seasons hotel. Originally the plan was a night cap before heading home and before I knew it, it was 1:30am and the lights had come on. Steve is a whiskey fan so was asking the knowledgeable bar tender for recommendations. Needless to say, the tipsier he became, the more expensive the whiskey was.
ARIA is really a fantastic restaurant. There is nothing at all that I could fault from our visit.