Monday, 28 July 2014

Happy Monday

Thank you universe, this week has been a good'un. The Powers That Be obviously looked over their wine glasses and saw that I needed a bit of a break.
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Things that made me happy this week:

:: This song

OMG! How has it taken me this long to hear it. It was released in 2007 in the movie "Once" and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. But of course you knew that, I am the only noob in the world that hasn't heard it before.

It was played during the 'twist track' in my Body Balance class. I googled the lyrics as I left the gym and played it on YouTube, on repeat, singing along with the harmonies. It triggered something in me and by the time I got to the pet food shop I had big drippy tears running down my face.

One of those cathartic, refreshing crying sessions.

:: A fantastic night of beautiful wine with The Wine Captain. She was invited to try some of the new release wines from the exquisite Abbott & Delauney, and took me along. The winemaker, Laurent, sat with us (I know!!! How cool is that) and I'm going to put it out there that he is one of the most charming, lovely, warm and friendly winemakers in the world! Now I just have to somehow make it to France so I can visit his winery. Please, if you see the Abbott & Delauney wines in a bottle shop near you (the awesome Fourth Wave Wine Partners team have reps on the road in NSW, Vic and Qld so it shouldn't be hard to find) get some and tag me on Twitter when you rave about it :)
I reckon you UKers should be able to pick it up easily enough too.

:: Patented Ted-mum cuddles. When I fist let him inside and he is all wiggly I bend over to give him a rub and he whacks me in the head with his extra-swooshy tail.

:: Ted 'letting' me take a photo of him. It is a challenge, he doesn't like the camera and always makes a velociraptor noise before launching himself at it.
Teddy bear photo IMG_2413_zps6cd4c086.jpg
Yep, those are skeleton feet on the right side of frame there. Edward Skellington's feet to be exact. he lives here too.

:: A night out with one of my most happy-inducing people. One of my besties was in town and we caught up over dinner and the show he is involved with (Go see "Britney Spears: the Cabaret", in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane- it's a roller coaster ride). He makes me so happy. We haven't seen each other since, gosh, the end of 2012, and it was like we had just hung out last week.

:: A sneak peak of the new Condie Viognier as recorded on Twitter:) Rich and textured but fresh and vibrant, just so SO good. It made me feel a little bit important that I got a sneak peak (a sneak slurp really). Full disclosure: I do a bit of casual sales work for Condie Estate but that doesn't stop me from getting really excited about a new wine I love.

:: Cooking dinner for delightful friends that we don't see often enough. So much socialising on school nights this week.

:: Turning up the volume on Sia's new album so I can hear it in my heated office at work (when there are no customers of course, although I did get caught out once). She is out of this world.

:: Ted's joy when he realised he was allowed to clean up the egg that was dropped on the floor. He did such a good job of cleaning it up too. Finally he is pulling his weight. It has taken over a year, multiple 3am wakeup calls, destroyed plants and hundreds of dollars in fake sticks; it has all been worth it.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Roast Pumpkin Soup {Recipe}

Have you ever read the ingredients on a can of soup? Pretty scary huh? I have got into a bit of a habit lately of eating canned soup for lunch, healthier than some other alternatives but still not terribly good for me. The other day it occurred to me that I can save money, and do something for my health by just making up a big batch of soup and freezing it in meal-sized portions.

I know, revelationary right! Don't sass me, I've had a lot on my mind :)

Soup is one of the easiest things in the world to cook, and one of the healthiest things in the world to eat- there are at least three serves of vegetables in this one little bowl.

roast garlic pumpkin kumara sweet potato soup recipe

Monday, 21 July 2014

Happy Monday

This week I feel very sad for my baby brother. Friday morning I awoke to the news that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine. There were thirty-six Australian citizens on board and one of them is my brother's friend. My brother has suffered the shocking, unexpected loss of three loved ones in as many months and I can't begin to imagine the sadness in his heart.

I am so grateful, rather selfishly, that my brother wasn't on that plane. He is a jet-setting corporate and whenever there is a disaster my parents can expect an early morning phone call answered with a panicked "Where in the would is D at the moment?"

It seems futile to make a list of half a dozen things that made me happy when there are so many families out there wondering is they can ever be happy again. Much of what happens to us is outside of our control; what we can do is focus on making our own short time on the earth, and that of those whose lives we touch, the best it can be.

Things that made me happy this week:

:: Running for the train on Monday morning, and making it! It was a real 'Sliding Doors' moment. I'd prefer nothing else to mirror that film though...(pregnancy, death, short blond hair).
In fact I had very good public transport luck every day this week when I had to travel across town for my teaching block; managing to get connecting trains and trams. I know this sounds terribly mundane, but trust me, in Melbourne it's significant. There is also nothing like a 200m sprint to get the endorphins going of a morning.

:: Noticing this enormous clock in Melbourne Central. I am a bit in love with it but have never noticed it before. On Monday after the 'Sliding Doors' moment, it was gonging (is that a word) its 9 o'clock gongs as I ran through to catch the connecting tram. I got up a bit earlier the next day to take a picture of it.
large clock melbourne central plaza

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Menulog Magic and Giveaway {and Asian Kitchen and Bistro Review}

I had never been a huge fan of takeaway. I just did not get what was so exciting or relaxing about: calling up a restaurant during their peak service time; trying to make your order clear and heard while the staff member has to shout above the din in their restaurant; hoping against hope that you are actually going to get what you thought you ordered (because there is no way you understood what was said when the order was repeated to you); finding a pair of shoes to pull on when you realise that you should have left five minutes ago; debating whether you need to change out of your track pants; waiting in the cold because the food is not quite ready when you arrive- or worse- it was ready early and that trackie change meant that the food is now cold; arriving home, organising drinks, cutlery, plates etc while the food gets colder; realising it would have been much less stress to just knock up an omelette.

But then I discovered Menulog. I remember the evening, it was December 2012 and as we left work late at night my colleague was debating what she wanted for dinner. I assumed she was looking up menus online, which she was, but it was So Much Better. She explained Menulog- you type in your postcode, select delivery or pick up (it's a no-brainer which one you should pick), and a list of restaurants that offer delivery pop up on your screen (and delivery is free with a minimum order value!). The menus are up to date, you pick what you want, place the order, settle into those track pants, pour a glass of wine (because now you don't have to drive anywhere) and magically, a little while later your food arrives. Exciting hey!

Once you have ordered the first time and set up an account you don't even have to enter your details. I have the app on my phone so I can order food wherever I am. Whenever. That is luxury.

For the purposes of this review I ordered food from one of my faves, Asian Kitchen and Bistro. Within 5 minutes I received a text letting me know my food would arrive at 7:28 (about half an hour wait). At 7:23pm there was a knock on my door.

The best way to enjoy thai food is with a floornic