Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lemon Salmon {Recipe}

I am trying to eat more fish. I am also trying to eat less sugar sugar (the processed stuff) and save my sugar sugar intake for stuff that is really worth the calories (like ice cream and cake!). One night as I was about to make my usual salmon marinade it occurred to me that there was quite a bit of sugar sugar in the recipe so I made something up and it was delicious.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Check Yo'self {and Love Your Sister}

A few weeks ago I wrote about my recent breast cancer scare. I am lucky that this time it was just a scare. I'm hoping that if there is a next time that again it will just be a scare. There is a good chance though at some stage it might not be; one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

During my weeks of waiting for results, the thought that kept crossing my mind, or rather the plea my mind was screaming to the universe was "Please please don't let me have breast cancer as a young woman!" Treatment for breast cancer is improving all the time but young women often have poorer outcomes. This is partially because the cancers detected in young women can be more aggressiv; if oestrogen dependent there are high levels of oestrogen present so they grow more quickly. However one of the most significant issues in the long term survival rates of younger women is lack of detection and misdiagnosis.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Happy Monday

Straight up I need to apologise to those who follow me on Instagram or Twitter. I had a sick day on Friday and seemed to be on social media all day posting very dull updates about my food and snot. Not together, the food and snot, separate updates. Although I did post pictures of custard at one point...

I've just struggled out the other end of my third cold/flu thing in as many months. This time it was a horrendous hayfever hybrid (alliteration was the only literary device I ever really understood at school).

I'm going to keep my introductory rant a little shorter today as I am really supposed to be studying, got my second WSET diploma exam in just 10 days. Yikes!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Miinot Gelato {Review}

I travel across town for ice cream. That makes it sounds simpler than it is. I travel across Melbourne for ice cream, and by across I mean West to East. Anybody who has ever been to Melbs knows you don't want to be going sideways anytime, ever, the traffic is always bad. But I go. Because ice cream is important and so far my faves have all been in the east.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fat Mum Slim Photo a day

I had been wanting a camera for over a year. I felt like a little kid, saving my pocket money, putting a little aside each week to buy something I really wanted. I researched. I saved. I lusted. About a month ago the camera I really wanted went on sale and I bought it.

But I didn't know what to do with it.  A huge manual and tricky controls had me terrified I would break it, so it stayed in its case for a week. Then I took it out and put it on auto. After a few days of this I knew that if I didn't start teaching myself how to use it soon it would stay on auto for the rest of its days and I would be very disappointed in myself. About the same time Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim announced her October Photo a Day list; a real treasure-hunt list using the alphabet. I decided that I would set myself a little challenge, to participate in Photo a Day and only allow myself to use my new camera, the Olympus OMD-EM10 (and some photo editing done with Little Moments App, PS Express, VSOCam and Instagram).

If you aren't familiar with Photo a Day, it is a little initiative Fat Mum Slim, a pretty famous Aussie blogger, started in 2012. Each month she publishes a list of prompts and people all over the world take photos and share them on social media using #fmsphotoaday. You can use whatever kind of picture-taker you have and it is all just good, free, community-building fun.

So here is my effort so far, the first half of the month:

A is for... Antony, one of the vineyard workers. He is the best storyteller in the world, getting so animated and excited as he talks that he makes everyone laugh.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Happy Monday

I've had a week of ranting and frustration, mostly at myself. You know that Wake Up Call post I published, oh, 5 days ago? Yah, forgotten it already. Hit snooze by focusing on the really unimportant detritus like worrying about not enough people 'liking' me on Facebook or 'following' me on Twitter and Instagram. Has it ever occurred to anybody else how banal these terms are- follow and like. People 'followed' Jesus and I am not promising anything like the kind of stuff he was; and well, we all want to be 'liked' but I would much prefer to be 'loved' or 'respected' or any number of other less passive conjugated verbs. Even 'hated' is a much better, more passionate emotion (is 'liking' an emotion) and so much less schoolyard. I was never very popular at school. I always wanted to be 'liked.' I thought I had grown out of that need but it seems not.

I think it's time to move on from 'liked.' By all means please 'like' me on Facebook if that is a way you will keep up with me and read my words. I want you to read my words. But I'm going to try not to worry about those silly little numbers anymore.

Wanna know who doesn't 'like' me?
Nothing passive about my boy. He LOVES me, he WIGGLES me, he IDOLISES me and sometimes he FARTS on me. All big passionate verbs and far more important.
Things that made me happy this week:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Go for the food, stay for the wine {Green Park Review}

The last night of September I sat glued to Instagram as photos streamed in from the launch of Green Park. I know what you are thinking... 'Heck Nicole, you lead a rocking life!'
In my defense it was a Tuesday night. There's nothing on TV on a Tuesday night (I don't even watch TV :)  Besides, the Instagram viewing was far better than any soul-destroying reality show. It was very clear to be that I needed to voyage over to North Fitzroy ASAP.

I managed to rope one of my wine-appreciating buddies into a Sunday supper, not that Eat Quaff Laugh (EQL) needed much convincing, she had been tormenting me with Instagrams of her Green Park breakfasts and wanted to try the bar menu too.

seeking victory blog

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wake Up Call

On the 22nd of August I stopped breathing. For a Month. Or at least that's what it felt like.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Happy Monday

On Friday night The Bookworm went to bed earlyish, about 9pm. As usual I said I would be up soon. At 10:30 I realised that I had been almost obsessively cycling through my social media accounts for over an hour. I was waiting for a reply to something, hoping the person was online but also just looking at all the new things slide into my newsfeeds, cycling between so that I didn't miss anything new and exciting while catching up on a bit of Bloglovin. I kept telling myself "Just one more post, I'll just read one more, something positive to go to sleep with."

I need an intervention.

I am time-poor. I work full-time, with a daily commute (drive) approaching 2 hours, I study part time and write in my free time. I bemoan the fact I don't have enough time to write but Lady, there's your problem - an hour and a half of random social media. I consider that social media isn't time wasted, there is a friendship-maintaining/networking/contact-making/positive-ju-ju-giving aspect to it; but not if it is taking away from the things I want to be doing. I can't 'detox' because so much of building my blog is about interacting with you, my treasured readers, and it is the only way I can keep up with so many of my friends. I realised I felt very lonely on this Friday night, that I was aiming to fill the void with human contact, even if it was on the other side of the computer screen. Many of my friends are interstate and many of my local friends are also time-poor with schedules that completely contrast with mine. In those brief times we do actually manage to meet, it helps if I have an awareness of what has been going on in their lives for the last six months (yep, sometimes that long or longer). However,  I do need to cut back and perhaps allocate time to social media rather than allowing it to fill my moments in between.

How do you deal with social media? Have you found a balance?

Anyway, there were some moments in-between the scrolling and the work to enjoy the little moments and that is why we are here.

Things that made me happy this week:

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Victor Hugo- Les Misérables From Page to Stage {State Library of Victoria Exhibition}

Is there anybody out there who hasn't seen a production of Les Misérables?

It is one of those shows that just sticks in your head. I think most of us have probably belted out a bit of 'Castle in the Clouds' in a school choir or hummed the chorus of 'On My Own' through periods of teenage heartbreak.

Just me?

Despite my love of the music of 'Les Mis' I didn't really know much about it. I certainly did not know that it was originally a novel that took seventeen years to write, or that its author was living in exile for much of this time.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wonderbuns {Wonderbao Review}

The world does not need another review of Wonderbao. This will be blog review number 103 on Urbanspoon. However, food porn this good should not be wasted. So I shall make it short and sweet and saucy.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Happy Monday

Whoah life has changed in a week. Last Monday after I hit publish on my Happy Monday post, I headed off to a specialist appointment and finally (after five weeks) got the all clear on a very worrying health thing (post to come). I feel like a weight has been lifted. I have again started to make plans to do things, see friends, conquer the world. I no longer have that horrible niggle in the back of my mind telling me to wait, to not think too far ahead, just in case. It has been a GOOD WEEK folks. A timely reminder that I need to enjoy each day as it comes.
sunset melbourne west dusk

Friday, 3 October 2014

Once the musical

I'm breaking my usual posting pattern because I have to share something wonderful with you.

Some of you might remember how overwhelmed I was when I first heard "Falling Slowly", the song from the film "Once". Following that post a few people mentioned to me that the musical was coming to Melbourne. I was tempted, damn tempted to book but also lacking in finances and suffering from an intense dislike of musicals. I know, strange, given my two X chromosomes- I am technically genetically programmed to like musicals. I think I got some faulty gene though because all that random breaking into song and naff dancing usually leaves me cold. You know, except when I do it in the supermarket.

From the Facebook Page

Thursday, 2 October 2014

How healthy are you?

They say there's a chance I could die of breast cancer,
Or a melanoma
I could die from heart disease
Or even from a brain haemorrhage
Maybe in a car accident
But the fact is, the biggest cause of death for women in my age group is suicide.

I saw this commercial last night and I was shocked. I knew that suicide was a major cause of death for young men, I didn't realise how significant it was for young women too.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Arcadia Gastronomique {Review}

When you are working in Fitzroy North and get recommended a restaurant in Ascot Vale you take that recommendation seriously. I mean, who travels across town from foodie-centric Fitzroy to Ascot Vale?

I know, I know, I gotta stop beating up on the Vale.

Anyway, this is how I first heard about Arcadia, a lovely little Spanish restaurant on Union Road. Now long after I did a walk-by and fell in love with the wood panelling. Such a cosy little place.
Arcadia Ascot Vale review