Friday, 29 August 2014

A dingo stole my... heart

I would like you to meet Tangle

Is he not one of the most gorgeous, intelligent creatures you have ever seen?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Greek Feast {Mesa Greek Cuisine Review}

I first heard about Mesa Greek Cuisine from a fella I used to work with. "The best Greek food outside of my mother's kitchen" were his exact words.
Big words.
Being an honorary Greek, I made a mental note to go there. Fast forward a few months and it popped up as Urbanspoon's weekly special,* so off we went.
Mesa Greek Cuisine

Monday, 25 August 2014

Happy Monday

It has been a crazy couple of weeks.

The first big, scary WSET Diploma exam went quite well. I was looking so forward to some chill out time but all the things I had been deferring until after the exam mounted up and so this has been a full-on week as well. Today is the first day in about a month I haven't had to do something or be somewhere, so I intend to spend some quality time with Ted and catch up on the last couple of episodes of 'Time of Our Lives' - such a good show! Guilt-free free-time is the best, and such a rare commodity. I probably need to start on my next subject as soon as tomorrow.

Things that made me happy this week:

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Substation Contemporary Art Prize

the substation contemporary art prize

Last Friday night I dragged my sorry little lurgy-lugging body out of the tracksuit I had been inhabiting for more days than I care to think about all day and headed out to the opening night of The Substation Contemporary Art Prize. I am so glad I did.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Practise makes perfect... or at least better.

I am now a complete expert on blogging, having had a blog for a whole year and two months. In the same way that I am an expert on children because I have changed a couple of nappies and read "Where is Spot" at least a dozen times (well, maybe half a dozen times but I used voices and everything!).

I may also be prone to hyperbole. Yeah, maybe...

What I am humbly aware of is that doing something regularly really does help make you better at it. And that is what this blog has done for me.

A few months ago I read a post on Cook Republic, an award-winning Australian blog, where Sneh talks about her eight years of blogging and the path from "ugly looking curries shot at awkward amateur angles" to the magical, inspiring creation it is today- my words, not hers, she is very humble. It helped me feel better about some of the very average photographs I took in the beginning...

Monday, 18 August 2014

Dessert Dumplings {Recipe}

As you read this I am sitting my first WSET Diploma exam. Wish me luck!

There is no Happy Monday post this week because most of my happy moments were eating blocks of Dairy Milk with my head buried in a very dry textbook about grapevines. Thanks to the magic of the internet (let's just think about our lives 15 years ago- this invisible internet being really is magical) I was able to schedule an alternative post to pop into your life this morning. I hope it makes you happy. Dumplings always make me happy.

These little critters are comfort food to the max! Warm, syrupy, and doughy and crunchy at the same time. And remarkably easy to make.
butterscotch apple dumplings recipe woman's weekly

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Dinner and a Show {Oishi Kitchen Review}

In my acting days, when I first moved to Melbourne, I spent quite a bit of time at Chapel Off Chapel- a fabulous gallery space and arts venue in Prahran. I also spent a fair bit of time eating burgers and huge pots of steaming hot noodles from the local eateries and dealing with a slightly tighter costume by the end of the run. So when I was meeting one of my dearest friends (in the universe) for dinner and a show (at Chapel Off Chapel) I did a spot of research into some 'healthier' options in the area and came up with Oishii Kitchen, a Japanese/Korean offering on Chapel St.

Before I go any further I should add that in true dear-friend-of-the-universe get together style, we proceeded to way over-order and any attempt at a light meal was thrown out of the galaxy.

Do you have any friends where, despite having not seen each other for 20 months, you pick up exactly where you left off, talking over each other to fill in details and can't stop grinning? I hope you do.

We had to stop ourselves chatting long enough to order because we did have a show to see after-all. Within a minute of placing our order this appeared
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

10 Steps to Getting Ready in the Morning

The inspiration for this post came from the very talented (and prolific) Vanessa from 26 Years And Counting in her post "10 List Posts To Write When You're Too Tired To Blog". Well, I'm not tired, I am supposed to be studying for an exam but I was a bit inspired to share my mornings with you all because mornings are the best time of the day right?


I can't hear you...

Yeah, I know, I'm not on board with this either because this is how my mornings go:

1. Hit Snooze on the alarm. I repeat this step two or three times until either The Bookworm has a whinge at me or Ted decides to wake up and taps me on the chest to tell me it's time.

2. Slide into my Ted walking clothes. Pretty much always the same clothes (I do wash them occasionally) because I have this one set that is big enough to whack on straight over the top of my pyjamas and save myself that moment of undressed frostiness.

3. Realise that I didn't clean out the coffee pot after making coffee yesterday and get a little stab of bitterness in my heart. Search about for something to dislodge the ice cold hockey puck of yesterday, usually flicking bits of it about the place in the process, all the while vowing to start cleaning it immediately after use. Make coffee. Pour coffee into cup; at which point I am so exhausted and caffeine-starved that I set the pot back in its nook to clean later...

4. Drink second last mouthful of coffee as I stumble across a really interesting and long article I want to read on my phone. But Ted's having none of that, he can tell when I finish my coffee and despite my protestations he knocks the phone out of my hand and nudges me to action.

5. Growl at Ted as he circle-leaps and barks up the driveway past the sleeping neighbour's window, which pretty much has the effect of waking the neighbour with a terrifying guttural half-human half-beast bark-snarl.

6. Chase birds, bail up cats, leap in the air at the excitement of approaching a house with a dog. Well, Ted does these things but I walk him on a lead so I effectively do them too.

7. Remember, as I start to lower the zip on my cardigan, that all I have on underneath is my pink, striped pyjama top with all but two buttons missing.

8. Pick up poo.
Say a silent prayer that the thin film between my hand and the warm smushiness is intact. If it meets this first requirement, sometimes I take a moment to appreciate the warmth on my cold little fingers.

9. Pack my blender with green leafy things, bright fruity things, almond milk, chia and oats.
Turn it on.
Watch the almond milk turn green while everything else stays in a frustrating lump at the top of the blender.
Shake blender.
Turn it on.
Watch almond milk turn purple as it picks up a stray berry or two.
Bash contents of blender with a spoon.
Turn it on.
Repeat shake procedure.
Repeat spoon bashing procedure.
Almost cry with relief as the contents start to homogenise into a lumpy brown sludge.
Look at the clock, note that I should be leaving NOW. Pour sludge into a portable cup to take to work so the boys can make comments like "If you don't live forever after drinking THAT, you're gonna be really pissed off."

10. Simultaneously: Shower, dress, brush teeth, spray garden with bitter stuff so Ted doesn't eat the plants, feed Ted, fill waterbowls, find shoes, pack bag, grab sludge and lunch.
Lock door.
Walk to car.
Have a moment where I can't remember if I locked the back door and turned the gas off after making coffee.
Go back to check.
Lock door.
Drive to work.
Fall asleep at my desk (well, not really, I can't sleep sitting upright).

Are you a morning person?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Happy Monday

I am not supposed to be writing this. I am supposed to be studying because I will be very mad at myself if I stuff up my exam next week.While the winemaking stuff rocks my socks off, trellising and soil types bore me to distraction (and I love me a bit of distraction). Let's keep this on track though.

Things that made me happy this week:

:: Feeling like I belong. I have been hovering around the edges of the wine industry for a few years, forcing myself to go to industry tastings for the experience and exposure to a whole bunch of wines I will never be able to afford; but hating the awkwardness of not knowing anybody and feeling like a giant (a tiny giant) goofball. Starting the WSET Diploma means I have just met a whole bunch of really cool people so when I went to an enormous, very posh, tasting on Tuesday I knew a bunch of people and I felt much less awkward. Although I did apparently ignore someone I knew because I had my wine-nerd blinkers on.

:: Wandering the streets of Melbourne. I am a bit of a broken record on this topic. My days off are when nobody else has days off and usually involve a mixture of exercise, study, getting jobs done and (ashamedly) surfing social media. Melbourne is such a beautiful city, I love wandering around absorbing the energy but do not do it often enough.
melbourne central station architecture

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


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Every year Australians throw out eight billion dollars worth of food. That's equivalent to 178 kilos per person. At the same time two million people rely on food relief every years.

Eight billion dollars.
One hundred and seventy-eight kilograms of food.
Two million hungry people.

It's inconceivable.

It is easy to forget that hunger is not just a problem of the third world. In Australia we have government assistance for pensioners and the unemployed, but it isn't a lot of money and once rent and bills are paid there is not much left over for food. Then there are the times that a payment is skipped, forgotten, or late submission of a form means you drop out of the system for as long as it takes to review your case. What happens then?

Monday, 4 August 2014

Happy Monday

Rolling your bottom around on a spiky ball is not the most pleasant way to start the morning, though it does wake you up. My back is sore again. Though really, that is its natural state; the pain free days are the anomalies. On the upside, I am a redhead, which apparently makes me more tolerant to pain than the average Joe (or blond)- there has to be at least one upside to this pesky 'more prone to skin cancer and jokes about orangutans' gene. My osteopath is often a bit impressed when I saunter in with a two-week-old injury and then he discovers how bad it actually is. Hooray, I'm tough! Now I just wish I could quit with old-lady back pain. This time it was sneaky, I woke up with a mild niggle, nothing really, a bit stiff. It has evolved into complete lower back jam (and not the fruity kind). I will however develop abs of steel because I am constantly reminded to suck them in because my stability without switching on the core is bugger-all.

Happy Monday. Injury is such a fun thing to read about isn't it. I apologise, let's get down to the moments.

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As it turns out, the pot at the end of my rainbow is a spittoon.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

What the Pho? {Pho 54 Mandalay Bay Review}

To begin with, a note on pronunciation. The word pho may look to Westerners like it should be pronounced 'foe' but the reality is much more exciting. You get to pretend you are just about to say the swear word! I know! You do have to stop yourself before the 'ck' bit though or that is terribly rude. This Youtube soundbite is helpful too.

Ahhh Pho, my favourite Asian soup of all with its lean, just cooked meat, lashings of rice noodle (gluten free my friends) and delicately spicy, oh-so-fragrant broth. I have mentioned the lovely affordable Fitzroy dining option of Mandalay Bay before but felt they deserved some pretty pictures.
pho 54 mandalay bay interior