Sigh. Sunday's sunset was a pretty one! This is the view from our front door in the evening and as I was heading through from the kitchen to the living room, I had to stop and admire the view. It's not conveyed all that well by my iPhone's camera, so you'll just have to take my word that it was gorgeous. Sunday was quite perfect really. I went to Paradox in the morning and was really encouraged by the message that Brad brought us. Plus I got to sit on the couch in a pretty-lady sandwich between Amy and Kat! I headed home and was invited to watch some kids from the neighbourhood put on a dance show, very cute! Then Chris headed out to watch some basketball with a friend, and I had a leisurely afternoon of cooking, laundry and watching Glee. Altogether a great relaxing end to the weekend.
Saturday was a massive day for us! It started for me with delicious brunch with the besties at Cafe 58, a little Cafe we discovered on one of our many house-sitting adventures before I got married. They do the best mushrooms in the world, only two out of the three of us didn't even order mushrooms! It was a great time of catching up, and then for me it was off to a couple of tile shops with Chris... we looked at hundreds of tiles and I have to say, it started getting overwhelming. What if we don't pick the right tiles? What if a tile looks good by itself, but we hate it once its all over our floor? Pressure! It's not like painting, when you can change your mind 6 months later and paint a new colour over the top! After freaking out over the tiles, we headed to Bunnings to look at sinks and faucets. I never would have thought I'd have issues picking over these minor things, but I do! Everything must be perfect! Our heads filled to the brim with kitchen-related thoughts, we thankfully took a break for the evening and had dinner at our friends Alycia & Peter's place. Alycia pulled out all the stops by cooking a beautiful dinner AND making icecream for dessert! Once all the eating was over we held a big Wii tennis tournament, in which I sucked and lost every single game. Ha. It was such a fun night, and a good day over all. Love weekends!
We're in the thick of Summer here in Australia, and Chris and I had our air con die on us a couple of weeks ago. The days are disgustingly hot, and although the nights are pleasantly cool lately, our house gets so thoroughly heated in the afternoons that it doesn't cool down inside until the morning. Last Friday night we decided to spend our after-dinner time sitting under the patio, rather than holed up in our ridiculously warm living room in front of the TV. I love it when we take the time to sit together outside - for some reason, conversation just flows. We talk about our plans for the house, we dream together, we watch the dogs playing in the yard, I get excited about the idea of new gardening projects - it's a really lovely way to spend the evening. I know this probably sticks us up on the old-married-couple shelf more than ever, but I don't even mind. Patio-time makes me happy!
There's nothing like a good traffic jam to deflate you after a great night! Chris and I spent last Thursday night at Retra Vision, picking out appliances for our brand new kitchen. We even put a deposit on a dishwasher (a dishwasher! Ohmagoodness!) Being the boring old married couple that we are, we were on a huge high after pawing through cook tops and ovens - and then this happened. We got stuck between 2 freeway exits for more than half an hour. I mean who plans massive roadworks on the freeway on late-night shopping night??? What a nightmare! Overall though, a great night - making us more ready than ever for the kitchen renovation to begin.
Aaaaand for something completely different.... Grill'd! Ha. Chris and I were in Subiaco and decided to top the evening off with a trip to everyone's favourite burger joint! The burgers were delicious, the chips were herby, and as an added bonus it was all free because we had a gift voucher! Score! Afterwards we took a little walk to the Woolworths nearby and bought a box of biscuit-y chocolatey Magnums. Mmmmm! We enjoyed one icecream each in the car ride home and stowed the rest away in the freezer for another day. Fun little Wednesday night date!
How fun is Wii? Our Wii power supply broke a few months ago and we haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. On this Tuesday night we had dinner with Dad & Steph at their place and then entered into an epic tournament of Mini Golf on their Wii! We bought Steph this second-hand Mini Golf game for her birthday last year and it was the first time that we were trying it. The game is a bit bizarre! It was fun though. Chris of course went the extra mile and played Single Player mode after our little tournament, unlocking a bunch of extras for next time. And don't think it was fun and games for humans only - we brought Dog & Cupcake for a night of fun with the family's dog, Leon, and they played even harder than we did!
This is who I snuggled up to on Valentines Day! Tehehe. Her name is Orana and she is one of the resident koalas at work. I'm so lucky that Steph works in the Wildlife section and can get me free koala time! It's hilarious watching her with the koalas - most people would be overly cautious and gentle (or maybe that's just me?) but she hoists them up into her arms like a Mum with a toddler! She loves those koalas :) What I find really exciting about her job is that it's inspired her to study Zoology at uni. How cool!
I have a weird obsession with red velvet cake. I love that most people I know haven't heard of it. I love that it's traditionally iced with a cream cheese icing. Mostly I just love that it's red. It's quite a site to cut into a pretty white cake and be faced with bright red innards! My only real issue is that although I've made a few red velvet cakes in my time, I've never really found that recipe that clicks, you know? On the Sunday before Valentines Day we put a surprise birthday party on for Paul, a really great guy who is part of Paradox (along with his beautiful wife Sue and grandson Michael). I love surprise parties! I think that throwing a surprise party for someone is a huge show of love. I volunteered to make the cake and decided to try Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake. WOW. I'm in love! It is such a simple recipe and it turned out perfectly. My only downfall was the heat - my icing was melting all over the place, and transporting it from my house to Kat's (where the party was) was a trying and stressful 4 minutes! In fact the top layer slipped off as I walked in the door and if not for Aimee's quick reflexes, it would have landed on the floor. Eeeeeeppp!!
We have a fairly new and super great friend called Kristin. Sadly I didn't photograph her, but this photo of Kat and Amy is in honour of her pink-themed 30th party! Huge novelty because I've never been to a 30th before! Milestone! We all had to wear something pink and everyone looked so great - I especially loved seeing all the guys in pink shirts. Kristin and her fiance Justin really put on a great event - their house is beautiful, their dogs are gorgeous, and the two of them are just some of the loveliest, most genuine people you will ever meet. I'm so glad they're a part of our community of friends!
I am SO hard core. See that time displayed on the microwave? 1:09? That's AM, not PM! That's right, despite a long hard week at work, I was still up at 1:09am. And starving. Now you should know, I'm not a midnight snacker. I rarely even eat dessert. Once dinner's over, I may as well brush my teeth because I'm not going to be hungry again until breakfast time. But this night was an exception, and for whatever reason I had a major hankering for some crappy food! I searched the pantry, the fridge, the freezer - and finally settled on some bruschetta-flavoured tiny pizza bite things. Satisfying? You bet! Haha. It reminded me of the days when my sister Hannah and I would squirrel away snacks out of the pantry for a few days, then meet in my bedroom at midnight and have a midnight snack party. We thought we were the coolest. Apparently the novelty of the midnight snack still lives on!
It was looking like just a regular Thursday, when suddenly I received a text from Steph asking if we could have lunch together that afternoon! We decided to picnic it up at a park near work, and we sat on the grass with our microwave-heated lunches enjoying the sunny sunshine. It was such a lovely break from the normal plod of officework! My family often come pick me up for lunch at the park nearby and I love sitting outside and being somewhere other than the sales office (where I normally eat my lunch). The afternoon is so much better after coming off a break like that!
I've never posted a picture of Paradox Central, yet I'm here most Sundays! Last Wednesday night we emptied out our weekly gathering place for the Paradox community. We're moving onto a new space now, and this space sure has managed to gather a lot of stuff! The boys did lots of heavy lifting and trips to Brad's house, and the girls were assigned to cleaning. I failed miserably in my duty as a girl, but I did get to enjoy watching Aimee wipe Amy's back with a toilet-cleaning cloth. Just lovely! Amy also impressed me greatly by sweeping up COPIOUS amounts of dead cockroaches in a little dust pan. I'm not kidding, this thing was filled with the grossness! Most things got done pretty quickly so it wasn't a very late night. We're meeting in a primary school now which I love!
Chris normally leaves for work just after 6am, and most days I sleep through his departure! However on Tuesday last week he was able to go into work late for some reason, so I cooked us breakfast! Fresh coffees and fried eggs on toast - ugly, but oh-so-tasty and a great start to the day. It's such a novelty having breakfast together, I loved it.
Chris's parents Susan & James have started hosting us for a fortnightly Games Night! This picture is from the very first. It was so much fun, and Susan went crazy in the kitchen - prawn cocktails (droooool), salmon & crab cakes with teriyaki salad, and a coconut cream bavarian pie. So much good food! We sat around and played an epicly long game of Uno Attack. It was a really fun evening! These guys are such good people. I'm really lucky to have such a loving, kind pair of in-laws. We're very much looking forward to the next Games Night already...!!!
This is Jacki, one of my best friends from high school. The other day she messaged me out of the blue announcing that she's about to move over east, and could I catch up? I was so excited to see her! It's been way, way too long. She introduced me to a perfect little cafe called Harvest and we brunched and MAJORLY caught up. Jacki is such good quality. We had a really good chat (and a realllly good brunch too!!) I've realised that I could be such a better friend. I can't believe that I've let things slide with someone who I went from seeing every single day at school, who is absolutely amazing. Sigh. Lesson learned. Jacki let me Old Booth her, hence the daggy outfit (no, she did not meet me for brunch in pearls and a little hat!!!)
This year my sisters and I are committing to spend more time as a trio. I love hanging out with them - we have a great relationship and we always have fun. We're aiming to have a night out on the first weekend of every month, so this was our first official sister night on the town! We headed to Zappatas for Mexican food and cocktails, then trawled the streets looking for adventure. We ended at the Esplanade Hotel where we classily sipped cocktails (which we were all carded for! Ha!), chatted, and listened to the live singer & pianist. It was a really lovely drinks venue, and one glance at their dinner menu made it very clear that we'll be eating there some time soon! We had planned to get coffee and cake together, but we were beyond tired, and extremely full of Mexican food still, so instead we called it a night early. Nannas.
Double date night!! Chris and I headed out to the comedy at the Charles Hotel with Nahn and Julius. What a great night! It was a Raw Comedy heat, and the quality was high. The MC rocked our world, most of the amateurs were seriously funny, and the headliner John Conway was bizarre and ridiculous...ly hilarious! What a great night! Lots of laughs were had, followed by lots of quotes interjected randomly into conversation throughout the rest of our evening. *yumyumyumyumyumyum* When it was over, we headed into Leederville to pay a quick visit to Greens & Co, the home of many wayward paper lanterns and many MANY pretty cakes. We all enjoyed some nutty caramel meringue, I scabbed a cup of tea off Nahn, and then we finally went our separate ways home. Looong night, especially with work the next day... but so fun and worth it! Oh, and Julius made (yes, MADE) us a super handy coffee grounds bin!!! Champion!!!
Can you think of a better brainstorming food than churros? Dipped in heavenly milk chocolate? Accompanied by decadent chocolate shakes? I know I can't! We spent this particular Wednesday evening in Subiaco - enjoying a tasty meal of burgers at Grill'd (once again!) and finishing the night at San Churro. But why the brain storming? We've decided to kick-start our kitchen renovation! What we have here is an action-shot of Chris nutting out everything that needs doing in our pokey little hole of a kitchen. And let me tell you, that list is long. And painful. But so much better when accompanied by churros! Right???
I'm going to let you in on a guilty pleasure of mine. Sometimes when I'm feeling stressed or little bit down in the dumps, I like to stroll around Tony Ale, a fresh produce store close my office. Yes. I just admitted to that. It's just so uplifting - everywhere I turn, there are stacks of glorious, fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. I'm always guaranteed to come across at least one fruit or vegetable I've never even heard of. They also have an on-site deli, butcher and bakery. They have a wall of gourmet cheeses. They're the only place in Perth that I've found to stock juniper berries. This place is a foodie's heaven. If I could have any non-existent job in the world, I would like to invent fruit and vegetables! The colours, the smells, the textures (have you ever squeezed a fig???!) and the TASTES. I could talk about fresh produce for hours because I'm a dork. But you can see why Tony Ale is my pick-me-up! Oh-so-happy sigh...
OK, I need to take a moment to gush (as I so often do!) I purchased a couple of self-birthday presents back around the time of my birthday, and on Day 102 (a Monday) my purchase from The Honeycomb arrived -and if I'm going to be honest, these items were my most anticipated!!! I got this floral comb on sale (pictured), and also the most stunning, fairy tale-esque clip I've ever seen in my life. I can't speak highly enough of these two items, and this shop in general. Just stunning stuff. Very good quality, and so. freaking. pretty. I've always loved wearing flowers in my hair. I'm already looking forward to the next special occasion when I can justify making another purchase!
I know what you're thinking. Klara is trying to use another adorable stray kitten photo that she clearly took last week. It's only natural that you would think that - after all, who comes into contact with 2 batches of sweet stray kitties, 2 weekends in a row? Well, apparently I do. During our weekly Sunday Paradox gathering, one of the girls heard some strange noises coming from behind the building. She investigated, and found 5 tiny little baby kittens, dehydrated and lethargic in the scorching sun. They were so tiny and young - the girls were filling latex gloves with milk and water (vet's suggestion) and cutting little holes in the fingers tips for the kitties to suckle. Poor sweet little things. My friends Aimee and Rachael took them home and cared for them amazingly, and then my Dad took them to the shelter - the best place for them.
Family in night in Subiaco!!! On this particular Saturday night, Chris was flexing his mixing muscle at the Subiaco Hotel where he mixes two bands at once. Impressive right?! I went to Grill'd with my parents, sisters and Julius and we ate delicious burgers. It was a freaking hot, horrible night and we wanted to visit Chris later that evening, so to kill time my sisters, Julius and I hit up San Churro for cold, cold drinks. Then we braved the humid, horrible Subiaco Hotel for about 10 minutes, where we watched Chris sweat and prep things for sound check. Poor Chris. I felt sorry for him, but not sorry enough to stay any longer for moral support. And thus ended our night out. I can't wait for Summer to be over. It bites.
Rawrrrrr. We are savage bears! Welcome to an insight into ladies' night. When we get together as a trio, we like to disguise ourselves as bears and terrorise the neighbourhood with our sharp teeth and feisty glares. Our meal of choice for an evening such as this is delicious sang choy bau, and we like to relax in front of the TV with a plate of Kit Kat slice to come down off our reign of terror. It's not easy being a trio of bears.
I LOVE eating dinner at my parents' place. My Mum's cooking is very much comfort food to me - it's the delicious, familiar cooking that I grew up eating, and try as I might I can't quite capture the same taste in my own kitchen when I'm trying to replicate her meals. Day 98 was a delicious BBQ dinner at my parents', in which every stop was pulled out - there was lamb, patties, chicken, 2 different salads, rolls, grilled onions, sausages, cheesey layered potato... Yeah, wow. Chris and Hannah's boyfriend Julius did the honours of cooking the meat (and they rocked it!) and then the only thing left to do was admire it, spread out on the table. Oh, and eat it. We all did plenty of eating.
Ka-ching! Happy Australia Day! To be honest I have a love-hate relationship with Australia Day... in that I love Australia, but I hate the day that we put aside to celebrate it. For many Australians these days, it's traditionally the big old booze-up, because that's what Aussies do best apparently. Ick. For me it's really just a non-event. Maybe the fact that I was one of the only Australians at work on this public holiday contributes to my distaste. Anyway. I got home from work EXHAUSTED. I had plans to spend the evening chilling on the foreshore with my friends, but I couldn't summon the energy. Instead Chris and I celebrated Australia Day with grilled lamb skewers, naan bread and a bottle of Zibibbo. And were in bed by 9. Because we're the coolest couple in K-towwwwwn.
Oh... Cuppy. You do look so silly after a shave, but it is so worth it. No more yucky knots to detangle/cut out, no more bad smells. On this particular Tuesday, Cupcake took a trip to the groomer's with his Uncle Leon (my family's dog). When I got home to find this scrawny, shaved little thing hopping around... I laughed. Lots. He's like a whole new dog! I get him done a couple of times over the Summer because the poor thing must get so hot with all that fluffy spoodle fur. And we always enjoy that first sighting of him, minus all of his fluffiness!
Shivers... that's how days like this one make me feel! I woke on a Monday morning to find that the world was beautiful, dark and gloomy. Very out of character for Summer! Despite the threat of rain, I was inspired to get up early and trek out to the foreshore (I've really neglected my beautiful foreshore lately) to enjoy the calm before work. By some miracle, the pattering of rain didn't start up until I had climbed back into my warm car and started the journey home. This day lifted my mood considerably. It was such a special treat having such a grey, gloomy day in the midst of all this horrific Summer heat. So very glad that Summer's nearly over!!
This lovely picture makes me gush every time I'm flipping through the photos on my phone :) I LOVE these girls. They're my favourites, and aren't they beautiful? On this particular occasion (Day 94, a couple of weeks ago now. Ahem.) we were spending an afternoon in Fremantle - lunch at Xwray (yummy nachos!) and then coffee at Hush (our signature coffee place, tehehe). The friendship I share with these girls is amazing. We always have a blast together, we're totally honest with each other, and get us hopped up on a good coffee and you won't be able to stop us talking for a loooong while!!! At my age, not every girl is blessed with an amazing best friend. But I'm blessed with TWO amazing best friends and that's something I never, ever want to take for granted. Life is so much sweeter because of them!
It's not every day that your sister finds a bunch of kitties dumped on the side of the road, but that's exactly what happened a couple of Saturdays ago! I couldn't believe anyone could be so heartless to leave them there on the road. Poor babies. Chris and I found ourselves facing the very hard decision of whether or not to keep a couple, and we came frighteningly close to bringing home the little dude above, and his little champagne-coloured sister. So beautiful! But we resisted with great strength (and the knowledge that we had 2 boys at home that would happily eat them!) and let my Dad take them to the shelter. Sigh. I really hope they've found amazing homes now.
OK, if you don't adore dogs, probably block your ears right about now. Lately, Chris and I have been letting our boys come play with us on the bed in the morning before we get ready for work. Dog and Cupcake are psyched every time! Seeing them having a blast makes things so much fun for us! My favourite little trick is getting up before Chris and surprising him with two insane dogs leaping up onto the bed and slobbering all over him before he's even been able to come to his senses... Tehehe. Such fun. What would our lives be without these two mischief makers???
Ach. There are some days where I'm pretty proud of my iPhone's photo-taking abilities, and some days where I cringe and go "Why would I put this on my blog?" And yet here we are with a really ghastly representation of the highlight of Day 91 (and many other days, for that matter!) How I Met Your Mother is our lazy-bones pleasure. We've watched every season soooo many times, and yet it never grows old on us. It's like a blanket of fun AND comfort at the same time. If I ever moved to New York, I would want these people as my friends. Some weeks just get so crazy that when we get a night off to ourselves, we go into a state of total ecstatic-ness at the thought of feasting up on comfort food and watching this, our very favourite show. Happy sigh.
I'm naming this one "Documentation of a Broken Fork". I think this picture will help plastic utensil companies understand the needs of their steak-eating customers. We were at the usual Paradox Wednesday night BBQ and everything was going great - until, cutting into a tender piece of steak... this happened. Let's just say all hell broke loose and the night was ruined. Obviously. I know that the big question everyone's dying to ask is "Did you still use the fork?" Yes I did. It was difficult but oddly worth it.
Two food posts in a row! But this is justified. Freshly brewed iced coffee (using my mad Guatemalan coffee beans), a delicious sweet mango bought from the markets, and fresh bread with crunchy peanut butter. Now that's a great start to the day! Filling, but very great. As I'm posting this, I'm actually procrastinating on making today's breakfast. I'd much rather just pull this out of the screen!!
Ahem. So this is the problem with falling behind on blogging, but still taking a picture every day - you can't be exactly certain why you thought it was a great idea to photograph a plate of cucumber and crackers almost 3 weeks ago. I mean, it's a tasty snack, but was this the highlight of my day? Or did something else really great happen that I just forgot to photograph? Oh well, cucumber it is! This was a delicious after-work snack and perhaps I was just so deliriously hungry that my need to document it made sense at the time. Ah well. Yum. If you don't like cucumbers, you're missing out!
This means so much, because to me... life really is good! I am so blessed. Alice is an amazing lady who used to go to church with us, but has recently moved interstate with her family. She and her husband Phil are one of those genuinely lovely, encouraging couples. I didn't realise that Alice had a blog until quite recently and am so glad that she pointed it out to me! I find Alice's posts encouraging, and they just reflect the hugeness of her heart and her care for other people.
The rules of the tag are:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you this award
2. Answer the 10 survey questions - please see below
3. Pass this award on to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic and notify them with a comment
So here goes.. 1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you aren’t anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?
I'm not anonymous, and I don't have any desire to be anonymous. My blog is about documenting my life, and I'd say it's predominantly read by my friends anyway! I'm not the kind of person who would use a blog to complain about people in my life, subtly or otherwise, so I feel like there's no need for me to be anonymous. I read so many blogs in which the bloggers are open books to their readers - and these are the blogs that I connect with the most, so I never even considered anonymity.
2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
Poor Chris cops all of my childish stubbornness! I'm generally only stubborn when I want something - and then it's hello 2-year-old Klara! Hahaha. The most recent example I can think of (but seriously, it happens LOTS) is when we were thrifting on my birthday. I fell in love with a cute colourful plate setting, and Chris said "No, we already have lots of plates". There was lots of pleading, lots of begging, lots of justifying, and still he said "No, it's just not practical". Then he went to look at something else - his fatal mistake! - because I grabbed the setting and brought it over to the counter anyway. Do you see? Do you see what this poor man has to deal with???
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Hmmm I kind of take my reflection at face-value (ha!) No deep soul-searching in front of the mirror for me ;)
4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Iced coffee. Caffeine AND it's icy cold! I'm drinking some right now in fact - I love my coffee machine, and am currently loving the Guatemalan coffee beans I bought at the markets a couple of weeks ago.
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
I read my Kindle or a magazine, or I watch something girly like Glee or Gilmore Girls. Sometimes I'll spend a few hours cooking in the kitchen, but generally when I take me-time I exert as little energy as possible!!
6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life?
LOADS. Right now the biggie is that I want to finish my Early Childhood Education degree - the goal is to be teaching before I turn 30. Ugh, 30 is so old. I think once you stop wanting to accomplish stuff, life becomes boring. Other things I hope to accomplish are house renovations, having kids, losing weight... you know, all those wonderful cliches. I want them.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching
I was the shy muso! I would look at girls my age who could talk to anyone, and always knew what to say in every situation, and wonder how the heck they'd worked it all out! But within my small group of friends I was a lot crazier. And I had 20 different music commitments at any given time, which made me feel like I was part of something huge :)
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
It would be our 50th wedding anniversary, and we'd be able to look at each other and say, with absolute truth, that every single day of our marriage was better than the last. I don't ever want us to take each other for granted, I don't want life to distract us, and I don't want circumstances to draw a divide between us. I want us to love each for ever.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?
I'm much more comfortable talking about myself! In fact I never quite feel informed enough when it comes to other people and events, and I can't help but feel as though I'd look foolish and uninformed if I wrote about them. My blog is a document of my life - the good, the mundane, and even occasionally the bad. Check out this and this for a bit of open honesty, and this to see my excellent ability to draw a post out of the total mundane ;)
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you choose and why?
Either! I like calling my Mum and having a good chat, and I also like lounging around in bed with something to read. Now the lovely blogger I would like to pass this award on to is: Which To Bury (who wouldn't give their bestie an award? Teheehe!)
I'm an Aussie wife who loves flowers, colours and good coffee. I married a Californian computer-nerd who is the love of my life! Together we created the cutest baby in the universe and I spend my days taking care of him in our always-a-work-in-progress little home. Life is good. Really really good.