Jan 29, 2019

It's Summer and It's Hot In Sydney. Food I Ate In Perth.

It's not fancy but it was cheap (the last one they had at Woolies for $35 down from $50) and we've become very good friends in the days that we've been together.

I speak, of course, of my new metal floor fan.  My old one broke rather dramatically on the night we returned from Perth and fate stepped in the next morning at Woolies.

I'm counting myself lucky I only got back for the back end of the heat wave.  Look at what's happened to my jar of coconut oil while I've been away! 

When it's Mecca Beauty Loop Box time and you leave the store with more than just the box.

In a somewhat tangential thought, the new fan reminds me of what is might have been like on the set of a mid-nineties fashion shoot.  All the volume in the hairstyles must have come from somewhere.  If it wasn't so hot and I wasn't so deeply entrenched in holiday mode, I could recreate the scene right here at home with this new makeup that found its way home with me from Mecca the other day.

It's a New Year and with that comes hope.  Hope in the form of bottles and jars.  My money's on NARS for Twenty Nineteen.  I've finally come to the end of my Ellis Faas foundation and I'll be starting on NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer.  Both products are Instagram favourites so I have high hopes for them.  The foundation glowed rather than shone around my pores when I tested it and a light dab of the concealer managed to do away with the last of the night before's makeup (big night out with my Perth besties) as well as the sum total of about 6 months of not enough sleep as I needed (no one's fault, just my fondness for burning the candle at both ends).

Meanwhile in Perth.  The sun finally did return while I was there.

We spent Friday afternoon at Elizabeth Quay which is a newly developed public space on the water in the city.

We walked along the footbridge and watched the ferries cruise below.

The Island  cafe and brewery greeted us at the end of our short walk.

Of course it was an Aperol Spritz for me. 

The kids menu woodfired pizza was especially well received.  I had a grain bowl with smoked trout that I also highly rate.

We then decamped to the outdoor play area.  It's a lovely surprise seeing something like this in the city centre.  The area was shady with lots of places to sit.  The climbing frames are probably better suited to older children but there were also a number of water play stations that kids of all ages would enjoy.

Then we stopped off for gelato before making our way to the train station for home.  Both the bus and the train stations are only a few minutes easy walk from Elizabeth Quay.  It's totally doable with prams and early aged walkers and directions are very clearly signposted.

There's more food news to come but to give you a break, here are but four images from our evening at the Australia Day fireworks.

Master SSG was in charge of my phone camera and we ended up with 200 shots from an event that went for half an hour.

He's still a bit miffed that I deleted the other 43 shots of the jetty...

We both agreed that the pelican photo should stay.  It's a bit dark but it's still a keeper.

No matter how hard I try, I just can't photograph fireworks.

These were the best of an average lot.

There's a new dumpling house near where my mum and dad live.  It's called China Tang and it's well worth a visit.  The service is lovely, the serves generous and the food excellent.  My picks are the dumplings and also the jelly dessert topped with crushed peanuts, sultanas and a drizzle of brown sugar syrup.  Sounds crazy but it's very refreshing.

My foodie meal of the trip was at Lulu La Delizia in Subiaco and I have my Melbourne friends to thank for making the booking and herding us all there on Friday night.

The cuisine is Italian and the setting hip.  It was the perfect setting for a relaxed, loudish Friday night catch up with people whom you've been through it all with.

Don't let the deceptively random looking dish of popcorn fool you.  It had a smoky barbecue flavour and went down a treat with my err... third glass of wine.  I can't remember how young I was when I last managed pre-dinner drinks and dinner drinks on the same night but where there's a will there's a way.

There were too many superb dishes to discuss on what is now essentially a fortysomething mum life blog but these were my highlights.

The squid ink fritole,

Nona's meatballs

and of course, the Tiramisu and Crostoli.

How are things with you?  Home from your holiday getaway?  All set for the first day of school? 

Jan 28, 2019

Perth Revisited.

There's something special that happens when Perth and I reconnect.

It's around the time that I hit the tarmac at the airport that I feel it.

The space, the flatness that seems to stretch out forever with a sense of limitless possibility, the clearness to the air.

Sydney me taking a gratuitous selfie on the rainbow checkered floor of Uniqlo Kids.

My shoulders relax, I knock a kilometre or two off my walking pace and the feeling of gentle unhurriedness in my soul overflow and wash into the thoughts of my mind as Sydney me takes a back seat for a bit.

Sure, I'm still up before the birds, waiting expectantly at the cafe down the road an hour before opening but the mornings are so beautiful in Perth right now and it's a joy having so many hours in the day to do not much at all - which is the one thing I have on my to-do list for the day at the moment.

Perth has been and always will be deep, deep breaths for my soul.

Perth is my place for spending the better part of weekday mornings doing not much at all and not feeling a shred of guilt about it.

Its cyclist and pedestrian friendly paths have done wonders for my running pace.

The postcard perfect views from the foreshore might also have had something to do with it as well.  Things feel relatively effortless with the water lapping gently to one side of you and a few stately buildings between parkland on the other.

Seeing familiar symbols of life in Perth have brought a smile to my face and a wave of nostalgia to my heart.

Sprinklers.  I'd almost forgotten how essential and ubiquitous sprinklers are in Perth to maintain any semblance of a green lawn.  I've managed to run through the paths of quite a few sprinklers this week which would have been more fun if the weather had actually followed its script for summer.

The Brownes Dairy logo.  That cursive script and the whimsically dressed bovine spokesmodels on each carton bring me back to countless breakfasts and cooking adventures. 

Well, the breakfasts weren't adventurous but the cooking often was and still is.  I made another Choc Ripple Cake while I was back and the adventure this time was not buying enough Crunchies for the whipped cream (which I also unfortunately overwhipped because I was trying to participate in a Perth besties WhatsApp while I was watching it).  So the final product was a combination of chopped Crunchie and a random bar of chocolate from a David JonesChristmas hamper.

Alls well that ends well.  The cream did work and I also discovered how you can sandwich the biscuits to both use up the entire packet (and hence have the perfect cake biscuit to cream filling ratio with each slice) and all the cream mixture.  I first made the cake sandwiching individual biscuits in a 'snake' or 'Hungry Caterpillar' (if you're Master SSG) but I've had an epiphany and discovered that rows of 5 biscuits work even better.

I went to Scitech with Master SSG who treated me to an impromptu lesson in very basic geography...

before he went off to fish.

So much of the CBD has changed since my last visit but fortunately, my internal sushi train GPS got us to Jaws, one of Perth's first sushi trains.

The original is still one of the best.

Ditto Chicken Treat, WA's own roast chicken takeaway. 

It was a special moment introducing the next generation to Chicken Treat's roast chicken dinners.  They serve crispy skinned chicken as well these days but I refuse to acknowledge or endorse this.

Other things that never change.

The weather laughing at the clothes I pack and forcing me to visit Uniqlo.  It was for warmer clothing this time.  It's been an oddly cool summer so far in Perth.

Taking the time on holiday to do things I was meant to do back in Sydney.  Like replacing my broken ID card holder.  I was so excited to find that Officeworks stocks holders with portrait orientation.  So important to wear your ID right way up.

A premeditated visit to Kmart to see the sights like these rainbow shaped drink holders which aren't quite sippy cups but look great because of this.

Also at Kmart, take-home packs of DIY slime.  Why am I paying to make my own slime, 2019?  Why!?!?!?

Lululemon was another stop on my shopping day trip through Perth.  But I have a legitimate excuse.  I had a discount voucher from participating in the Strava and Lululemon 40 80 Challenge.  You basically run either 40 or 80 kilometres over a fortnight to be eligible for the prize.  The launch year saw participants receive running geat but word got out fast so it's been discount vouchers ever since.  But still, it was a great way for me to keep the momentum going into the new year.

Can you believe it's almost the end of January already?  I like to think that the year only actually gets real on February 1....

Jan 24, 2019

Lovin' Life 24/1/2019: In Anticipation of the New School Year.

This week I'm loving the possibilities and clarity of empty spaces.  I've been attacking various areas of the house over the last few weeks to both create space and rid the house of anything that isn't necessary or treasured.  My riff on the Kondo-mania that's hit Australia these last few weeks.

School begins for us next week and with it comes the time for me to be an expert juggler and manager of time.  Which uniform for which day, after-school commitments, days for presentations... it's practically a second job keeping tabs on it all.  Hence the need for as much empty space and as little clutter as possible.

The beginning of the school year is also a sharp jolt back to reality for us both.  Bedtime will have to be strictly enforced again and on my part, there'll be less time to faff around in the morning before drop-off and the commute onward to work.  I'll be back on a strict laundry roster.  I'll also be double and triple checking the lunch orders on the computer to make sure I really did click confirm.  I didn't a few times in 2018.....

Yes, like the rest of the nations school parents, there's lots more that has to be done on a daily basis once school resumes.

But I am looking forward to the start of school.  The busyness, the routine, the dramas, the pockets of time I get to do nothing but walk, breath and be below the rustling trees as I drop off and pick up, the chat in the car on the way home.  The days seem more punctuated and less fluid when term begins.

I'm having a bit of a laugh at myself having read that last paragraph back to myself.  It's interesting how life changes your perspective on school.  The things I love about the school year as a parent are vastly different to what I enjoyed most back in the day.  I wonder what Master SSG's take on things will be this year?

It's been a relaxing and productive summer for me and I'm as ready as I can be for the first day back at school.


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