Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coffee Shot


We ran out of milk in the office today. But someone went out and got us all Campos coffees. 
Love my workplace

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Want!


Elise Mary Jane Dress

Motel Ditsy Floral Fit And Flare Dress

Keepsake My Only Wish Dress
Elise Rose Darling Floral Dress
Honey & Beau Slit Dress
ASOS Skater Dress with Scallop Lace
Anna Campbell Bridesmaid Dresses
Anna Campbell BridesmaidDr
A Fine Romance Metal Cuff from Mimco

Peachy Flower Headband

Sing's


My thoughts are going out to all the homes and businesses who are in the path of the flood...again. I was just at Sing's at Rosalie on Friday night and had this Tofu Thai Noodle Stir Fry, which my waiter said he would make super hot!

It's likely Rosalie will go under again which is just devastating considering the last disaster was just two years ago. There are so many dining institutions there and it's a spot close to my heart as I lived there last year.

There's just no predicting Mother Nature, I can vouch for that. All you can do is prep for the worst and if it happens, there's a great community to help you get back on your feet.

And we'll continue to support you when you're up and running - I'll be back for a this dish again, cause it SO wasn't hot enough!

Deja Vu

Backyard, 28 January 2013, 8.54am

I NEVER thought I would say this again...at least not so soon. But it looks like we are going to flood again. The remnants of Cyclone Oswald has sent wild weather throughout Queensland including tornados (??!?!?!), wind gusts, storms and flooding. People have lost their lives in Bundaberg, homes and businesses have gone under and they're predicting flooding throughout South East Queensland.

Deja Vu.

The Government began releasing water from Wivenhoe Dam a few days ago and have released flood maps modelling the predicted flood levels for the next few days. The peak will be Tuesday afternoon and again on Wednesday.

Our new house is in the floodzone. Seriously?? Are you kidding me? Hehe...I'm beginning to think I pissed Mother Nature off in a big way in a previous life.

End of the street, 28 January 2012, 11.29am

On a positive note, the waters are predicted to be 2 metres lower than the 2011 flood levels, which will still flood parts of my granny flat down the back, but (hopefully) not the ground level of the so close to being finished new house.

On a super sucky note, the brand new, retro style couch I bought is stored in the granny flat. Grrrr. Annoyingly I asked the builders on Friday to move it up to the top level of the house, just in case, and they put it up on a park bench that was in the granny flat and said if it started to flood they would come back and move it. I let it ride, I don't think ANYONE predicted we would have this kind of situation again. I called him on it, but he is cut off by flood waters and can't get to the house...and he has the only key.

The brand new couch on the park bench
My mate with the ute AND a boat is o/s at the moment and may not even get back on schedule today due to weather conditions so no chance of moving it to our rental.  Lucky for us, our super awesome neighbours have let us store the couch at their place until the floodwaters recede.

Our power has been out at our rental since yesterday so I am at a local Macca's, drinking terrible coffee, charging my laptop and phone and posting this blog. The next 48 hours will be critical.

The house and granny flat though are #FirstWorldProblems. We've been through this before and all these things can be replaced. For the family of those who have lost their lives, my deepest sympathies. For those in the firing line of the flood, take care and stay safe. xx

Monday, January 28, 2013

Australia Day


It's Australia Day peeps but it wasn't the sunny Summer day we're used to. The remains of Cyclone Oswald has wrecked havoc on the weather with torrential rain, wind gusts and storms. We had planned on heading to South Bank for Australia Day celebrations but it was just too wet. So we did our own celebrations at home...indoors.


Snags (vegetarian) in bread.


Lamingtons!!!


Thought we'd get into the spirit of things. I was a little surprised they were made in China. The irony of being the Chinese girl made in Australia wearing the Aussie thongs made in China. :-))

Happy Australia Day Everyone!!

New Year's Resolution


Foodie resolution for this year is to try more places outside my suburb and my other usual hang outs of The Valley and Sunnybank.

So...first one for the year - Tarragindi Thai at Tarragindi. Packed for a Wednesday night, awesome food, awesome service. #HappyTummy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A funny thing happened...


A funny thing happened the other night. We were having our favourite dessert, Taro Ball Mania at Meet Fresh in Sunnybank and I noticed the table of six in front of me staring and smiling. They were whispering and pointing and craning their necks to stare, not trying to hide anything.

It was rather unnerving.

Then the table next to them started to do the same thing. I had no idea what was going on so all we could really do was shrug our shoulders and continue on with dessert. (Meet Fresh, by the way, is awesome! You can read my article on Weekend Notes).

It wasn't till we got home he said, "Oh, I bet they thought you were Poh!" (From Masterchef). That would make sense. I was flailing my arms around animatedly while I was telling my story, just like she does.  I often get mistaken for her.



Me

Poh

I don't know. What do you think?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pizza Night


The Twilight Rocklea Markets on a Wednesday night is the last place I thought I'd find the BEST PIZZA EVER!!

Uh huh! Thin slightly chewy base, not too much tomato paste, evenly spaced vege toppings and most importantly NOT DROWNING in cheese. Important stuff.

It was from Pizza Volante, a boutique mobile woodfire pizzeria with a small but select menu. We sat downwind from the smoky woodfire oven as the delicious smells wafted past us. Oh my god it was good.

What a bizarre place to find awesome pizza.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Building Progress Update


We are on Day 124 of building with about 5 weeks to go, fingers crossed.  I'm getting so excited, but not so much for the house, but more for the stability of being able to put some roots down. We've been in three rentals since the flood and while I consider myself incredibly lucky to have even had somewhere to stay, it's also made me appreciate the little things about being in your own home. Planting vegies in the garden, putting photo frames up on the wall, planning for future events knowing you'll actually be there.

Yup, we're really looking forward to it.

Sunnybank

Poor little duckies :-(
I love the hustle and bustle of Sunnybank on the weekend. The pungent smells of BBQ meats and spices, the sounds of high pitched conversations in foreign languages and unreadable yet strangely familiar Asian signage on the shopfronts and menus. It's a visual feast for all the senses.

Josh is back after a few holiday weeks with his Dad and with that returns my chilli partner. After a quick Sushi Train lunch at Sunnybank we picked up some Asian supplies including "Extra Hot Mapo Sauce" for dinner, which seems crazy given it's 35 degrees here today.


So I combined the (seriously) extra hot mapo sauce with tofu, peas and vegetarian Qorn mince and, for extra measure, some garlic and 4 additional birds eye chillis. Josh and I have a competition tradition - first to go for a glass of water is the loser.

We were both out on the first mouthful.

This dish burned in every sense possible. It burnt my tongue, the roof of my mouth, the sides of my mouth and even as I swallowed I could feel burning down my oesophagus and even now, hours after we'd finished eating, I can still feel a mild burning sensation in the pit of my stomach.

This dish was so hot we went through two glasses of water each and polished off a litre container of soy milk. Even then, alas, the relief was only mild and short lived.

Sadly, we love this. When I finally get to move into the house, a chilli garden will be one of the first things I'll be creating.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sushi


No...I didn't!

ABC Radio Interview



I did an interview on ABC Local Radio with the absolutely gorgeous Emily Jade O'Keefe about my experience in rebuilding after the floods.

She asked me about the day the house flooded, all the personal effects we lost, how we have been coping since the flood, the house blog and the decision to demolish and rebuild.

This is the first time I've done a radio interview and I was pretty nervous. Emily Jade, with her voice like silk, was such a fantastic presenter and interviewer and put me totally at ease. I must admit I thought that being a radio DJ was all fun and games and just chatting, but she had researched, written all her intros and to see her ask questions on the back of my answers without so much as a pause made me realise I was in the presence of an ultimate professional. I think we counted over 50 "ums" from my part and not a single one from her. #Respect.

The ABC Studios are at South Bank, next to the Wheel of Brisbane overlooking the Brisbane River and the city skyline. It's such a gorgeous setting and the interview was at night so the city was spectacular.

Emily Jade had heard of me through the house blog. While it was originally started just as a personal journal for me, it's been such a fantastic medium for meeting amazing people, sharing stories and receiving advice. I'm so glad I started it and so grateful for the experiences it's brought me.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Great Escape



Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. The temperature has soared to close to 40 degrees, but it was more the heat in life that was getting to me and while it's only a temporary escape, sometimes it's just what you need.

The house is close to being finished although there's a few issues that's threatening the certification and some things in my personal life are just way too complicated to deal with at the moment, so it got to a point I just wanted to leave it all behind in Brisbane and just get away for a bit.

I hung out with a friend on the beach on the Gold Coast and watched the kite surfers. I had a couple of magazines and the Saturday paper to amuse me and for a few hours I forgot all my problems.


An awesome dinner at Lemongrass Thai with a few good friends over a couple of bottles of Sav Blanc was just the ticket. There's something about a good conversation lubricated with alcohol that just makes you, temporarily, forget everything and just enjoy the moment.


Sitting on the beach late at night, listening to the waves crash over the sand in the glow of the lights of Surfers Paradise. It's one of those things that makes you think about some of the issues in your life but the freedom and space makes them feel like a much more manageable problems.

Such a great trip that was well needed and much appreciated. I'm back in Brisbane now...the issues are still there...but I'm much more refreshed and able to deal with them.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two years on...



This is the one day of the year I can say I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing two years ago.

Today marks two years since the floods consumed South East Queensland, flooding 22,000 homes in Brisbane alone and left many people dead and businesses and lives destroyed.

The night before we had watched the coverage of flood which was expected to peak at about 4am. I hardly slept a wink that night and woke to the horrible, but expected news. Our suburb had gone under and so too, I expected, our little home.

The next 48 hours seemed to float along in slow motion, surrealism.



We went down to Bulimba and watched the waters rising along the Brisbane River. Drift Restaurant, released from its moorings in Toowong was upstream and floated past us in a tangled mess after hitting the bridge in the city.


Anna Bligh gave her historic "We are Queenslanders" speech and while I'm not a Labor supporter, it did give me a sense of community and pride and I actually teared up.




We managed to get back to our suburb later that night and while we could get into our street, access to our house was still cut off from the floodwaters.

The neighbours further up the street who had stayed during the floods told us our house had flooded almost to the ceiling, so we had an idea of the task ahead of us. This is me looking back towards our house, which has the blue fence.



While the last two years have been quite trying, things are definitely looking up. We are just weeks away from being back in our home . We didn't do anything to commemorate the day, in fact I wasn't even in town, but I did have a few moments of quite reflection. Not just for that day, but for the lives that were lost, for the people who are still rebuilding and the sum of all our experiences over the past two years. Onward and upwards though, life goes on. Forever though, I will always remember the 13th January and where we were on that day in 2011.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Trifecta

Sometimes all you have to do is put it out there. This week has been fantastic for resolving and closing some issues that have been bugging me or just fab things that have gone right!



Remember this gorgeous Elliat dress I was gushing about last month? I went back into the store and low and behold, it was on sale. In my size!! It's one of the most beautiful dresses I've had with its gorgeous beading and delicately embroidered daisy fabric. It fits so perfectly I'm convinced it was just meant to be. Whenever I see it in my cupboard it makes me smile. I can't wait to wear it somewhere special. #Win1

The Garden

I moved (temporarily) to a new apartment a couple of months ago and I haven't settled in very well. One of the main issues was that I hadn't met any of the neighbours (and I love having that community feel wherever I go) and also the garden was so horribly overgrown, it would depress me every time I walked past.  Fast forward to now and I was having a chat to my neighbour Liz (turns out loads of people here are nice and friendly) and we were discussing how we both hated the garden and how overgrown it had become. We had resolved that over the next weekend we would just recruit some friends and other tenants and get in and do it ourselves.

The very next morning, at the crack of dawn, two gardeners turned up and spent the next two days clearing out the "jungle" and it looks amazing. I had a chat to them and told them what an amazing job they were doing and one said he had been hassling the body corporate for 2 years to clear out the mess as it had been left by the flood. It was probably sheer coincidence, but I like to think we had something to do with it by just "putting it out there".

The garden looks amazing now, with its perfumed mock orange hedge and tropical coloured foliage.  I have to walk past it every time I leave or come back to the apartment, and it makes me give a little smile. #Win2

3.31am

Last week I wrote about how I've been waking up for weeks at 3.31am. Every night. On the dot. It was such a mystery. Well, since that post the middle of the night wake ups have completely stopped. Just like that. #Win3


That trifecta is the perfect way to start the weekend. Have a fab Friday and weekend everyone! xx

Happy Days


Hello almond and boysenberry flan from Oxford Street Bakery. What happened to the rest of you? Oh that's right, my friends and I ate you over a glass of Sauvignon Semillion Blanc overlooking the city skyline.

#HappyDaysWithFriends

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winn Lane


I love what they've created in Winn Lane in the Valley. A little secret alcove of shops and cafes tucked in behind Ann Street. It's all very sweet and secretive.



Flamingo Cafe. #Cuteness

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pretty Polka Dots


Cutest ever frill polka dot skirt from ASOS. On sale for $17. #BestBargainEver.

Inala - the culinary Vietnamese sweet spot?


I have a friend who's lived in Brisbane for almost 20 years and had never been to the Valley or Sunnybank to eat (or anything else). Mainly because he was scared.

Scared of what?

Haha - afraid of being mugged he said!! Crazy stuff. I took him during the day (so as to ease him in) and he loved it. That was a year or so ago and late last year HE suggested to ME that we go to the Valley for lunch.

*Sniff* so proud of my little gastronomic protege :-P

Anyway, where I'm going with this is that I've never been to Inala. Inala - the culinary sweet spot for Vietnamese (apparently). I've lived here (on and off) for 20 years too and I've never made the effort to go there.

So it was on my bucket list for 2013 and I'm proud to say, I've ticked it off in the first month. I had to get a friend to take me as I had no idea where to go, but that still counts.

We went to Phuong Trinh at the Town Centre and it was typically and authentically Vietnamese. There was no fancy decor, cutlery or crockery. The were gaudy neon lights out the front and some dodgy looking menus with a few noticeable translation issues. Don't get me wrong, these are the things that attract me to a Vietnamese place. Also, the place was packed with Asian and Westerners, which is always a good sign.



Annoyingly there wasn't a vegetarian pho option, so I had the vegetable rice noodle stir fry with tofu. Super tasty!



I also tried something new - this longnan drink. Sweet loveliness like I've never had.



Then of course we ended up at Meet Fresh for taro desserts and this Signature Herbal Jelly.

Next on the culinary bucket list - Ipswich!! Suggestions anyone?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A night at the theatre


I love the theatre, always have. When it's good, it's pure escapism.

We went to South Pacific last night and it was amazing! I realised it's been a long time since I'd been to a really good performance when I had goosebumps many times during the show and literally the shakes  during the final applause.

I didn't actually know anything about the storyline of South Pacific, just that it was set in the South Pacific (der) during World War 2. Like most Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals of the time, it touched on many of the issues of the era, but in such an entertaining fashion it's almost like an fun history lesson. Lisa McCune was incredible! She has incredible talent to be able to be both a television and broadway star. Teddy Tahu Rhodes too was just mind blowing, a operatic voice like nothing I have ever heard. We were in the upper balcony and it was like he was sitting next to us, that powerful voice filling the entire theatre.


I grew up in the theatre. I was a dancer (not a very good one) for 11 years and did many performances at the local theatre. I love the adrenalin of a performance, the rehearsals, the preparation. It's exciting and exhilarating. I get the same feeling when I see a performance. Even getting dressed up to go to the theatre excites me. The bell to call everyone to their seats and the sound of the the orchestra in the pit tuning and warming up their instruments gets me giddy and excited and when that curtain goes up I'm beside myself.

We were up in the centre, upper balcony which was absolutely perfect. An unimpeded view, and the pitch perfect sound of the cast filling the entire theatre. It's been the best performance I've been to in a long time.

I'm going to add "go to the theatre more often" to my list of new years resolutions for 2013.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A celebration of being 1


I went to a birthday party for a one year old today. It's been a long time since I've been to a party for such a young one - those days were a long time ago for me. It was really sweet and brought back many memories of when Josh was little and the Mums would be running around, trying to make sure the kids didn't smush the cake over the host's carpet. The kids probably didn't really care, they're too young to understand, but it's nice for the adults to catch up.

It was a Hungry Little Caterpillar theme - so, so cute!!! The cake looked amazing and really was probably quite easy to make.

I should probably start getting used to these again, there's been a baby boom amongst my friends - 4 babies in the last few months!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Hobbit

Went with a friend to see The Hobbit last night. I was a little apprehensive as it wouldn't be my first choice for a movie. I'm not really into fantasy type movies but I loved it! It was real escapism. Be warned though, it goes for about 2.5 hours and we went to a 9.20pm showing...so it was midnight before we left.

First Girl's Lunch of 2013


First lunch of 2013 with Jacqui and Miranda and we weren't adventurous, we stuck with what we knew and went to our favourite, The Jetty Oxford.

It's been a while since we've been there and I thought maybe there was a new Summer menu that I hadn't tried. There was :-)

I had the potato gnocchi with basil pesto, heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. It looked painfully small on the plate and I was worried I would to stop at the Cupcake Parlour on the way back. But it was delicious, the gnocchi melt in your mouth and just the perfect amount that I felt satisfied but not overfull.

Here's to a gastronomic 2013!

xx


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cupcake Parlour in Bulimba!


Yeeeaaah! A Cupcake Parlour has opened in Bulimba....dangerously close to work. How often am I going to indulge in my favourite Fairy Floss Cupcake, with the little icing sugar daisy on top?