A debacle of 50cents

Way back when….

Dad hopped in the car at the petrol station (servo for you Aussies) and I asked ‘Dad can you pretty please buy me the 50Cent CD?’ He contemplated this for a while and then begrudgenly he replied ‘yeah, okay, you’ve been good.’ 

So he goes about his business, pumping up the car with gas then into the shop and when he comes back out, he looks furious. I’m thinking that the serving lady must have been a real bitch. 

He hops in the car and turns to me, thrusting my new CD on my lap and says ‘that wasn’t 50 cents.. It’s was 30 dollars!!’ 

And I laughed the whole way home. 

  

Juicy Dumplings, Prahran, Melbourne

Well if the name has anything to go by, it’s got to be good, right?! Juicy & dumplings. Starts with a winning combination if you ask me!

Plus it was duck week there… Definitely my kind of place.

Duck dumplings, vegetarian dumplings in chilli sauce and xiao long bao – their specialty and my favourite of the three we ordered. Duck was a close contender though!

Service is average but I didn’t expect much – it’s cheap and has a quick turnover. You serve yourself and order at the counter.

I did manage to win a big smile from the lady making the dumplings in the front window as I walked out and told her that her dumplings were delicious.

               
Juicy Dumplings on Urbanspoon

A week in Melbourne 

Okay. Not quite a week. Just 5 days. But with the amount I fitted in, it felt like a week!

I went over for work (mainly for a Dairy conference) and extended for the weekend.

I managed to catch up with most of my friends there – dinners, lunches & coffees plus a little partying!

I couldn’t wait to get out to Albert Lake where my hotel was but with a heavy schedule & terribly cliché Melbourne weather, I only made it on the final day for a quick stop on my way back from lunch.

I attended an awards gala with only a few hours notice – thank good Nikita came to the party with a dress for me to borrow.

I won’t lie, I spent most of my time eating dumplings. Dumplings at Hutong, dumplings at Dumpling Table, dumplings at Shanghai dumplings and dumplings at Juicy Dumplings. Dumplings, dumplings, dumplings. Yum!

I visited Mr Miyagi in Windsor for dinner and drinks with friends which I will write about soon – it was damn good! Great atmosphere & food. Fun times. The same night we had drinks at The Woods of Windsor – an intimate bar with knowledgeable bartenders and the best playlist I’ve heard in a long time! 50’s Rock N roll on Pandora they told me.

Friday night we started at Royal Saxon then on to Le Bon Ton and Grace & Laundry in Fitzroy.

My lovely friend Sammy treated me to a facial & microdermabrasion, we had a double room and laughed the whole way through – especially at our rubber masks!

Lisa & I rediscovered the streets, stopping at random festivals and exploring Hosier Lane.

Saturday night we went to a new bar for me, Terminus in Abbotsford. It was good to begin but it became quickly too packed upstairs.

Great to have been back in the old hood with all my friends!                                  

Tangalooma Tale

A colleague told me about a special to get over to Tangalooma so I went about getting a bunch of people together to head over for some sunshine! 

Eight of us headed over on ANZAC Day, taking the ferry from the Port of Brisbane at 8.30am. The trip takes an hour twenty but they have decent coffees so we were happy! 
After a cold week it was lucky to have a warm, sunny break. Coming into Moreton island was gorgeous. The water was crystal clear, the sand gleaming and we couldn’t wait to get over to the wrecks. Moreton Island has 15 wrecks sunk not far offshore which makes for lovely snorkelling. 
We chose a spot on the beach and made a bee line for the water to cool off. Taking it in turns, we ventured out snorkelling around the wrecks. It was just gorgeous. I love seeing that world. Fish were everywhere, we even saw a giant turtle! The others saw reef sharks and a woobegong. 
I’d packed a picnic lunch which was wolfed down after a action packed morning. 
Renee and I went for a walk along the surf to the resort where she had a corona (I’m on an alcohol free weekend) and I admired the.. Scenery. 
There were heaps of jet skis and boats parked out the front of the resort, I think they had all come over from Brisbane. I would love to have a boat of jet ski – makes for an awesome lifestyle. 
By 3.30pm we were exhausted and happy to get back on the boat. Four Dolphins came up and said goodbye to the delight of all the passengers. The eight of us looked like we had had a massive night out! Trying to get as horizontal as possible, messy hair and coffees in hand. 
Great crew and awesome day – I can’t wait to get back out there! 
   

                
Thanks to Simon for the first and last two pics!. 

USA & Mexico 2015

Yeap – finally booked my next trip!

This has got to be the longest I have gone in years without a trip overseas (NZ & Oz don’t count as overseas) so I am super excited to have my next two week jaunt booked in!

The rough itinerary is:

7-12 August: NYC
12-15 August: Las Vegas (read pool parties)
15-22 August: Mexico

So two old favourites plus somewhere new with Mexico! I have never visited NYC or Vegas in the summer, only in cooler months – super excited for rooftop bars and pool parties.

We are looking at flying into Guadalajara then busing to Puerto Vallarta. We have a week total in Mexico – any recommendations are welcome! Flights are reasonable to Cancun and Guadalajara but Oaxaca is quite expensive.

Puerto Vallarta

Wynnum Wanders

My fave way to start a morning? 

A walk somewhere beautiful and inspiring. For me, this generally means somewhere close to the water, nature, pretty lights or exploring somewhere new. 

There’s not much I like more than walking by the water, wind in my hair, sun on my skin and beats in my ears. I get inspired, my head clears and I beat those pesky calories! Win, win. 

Today I walked around Lota, Wynnum and Manly on the Brisbane coastline. For two hours. I got blisters, irresponsible sunburn and a sore hip (how old am I?!) but I was happy as can be.

I lived here for 6 years and never even knew these ‘beaches’ existed until I came back from Canada. Crazy. I like it so much that if it was closer to Brisbane CBD I would consider living there. 

Here are some pics from my walk  

             

Curryville, Morningside, Brisbane

I’ve been meaning to try Curryville for a while now, it’s my local after all and I’ve heard good things.  

The service is great, they obviously have many return visitors as the waiter was immediately asking us for our orders, we had to send him away three times. 

To me, the best thing about Curryville is their humour. Their menus is one of the most amusing things I’ve read is a long time! Lots of opinions and funny words of wisdom. Check it out. 

We both tried chicken curries. I had the Karahi while Celia had the Balti. We both also ordered garlic naan. 

My curry had quite a bit of spice even at a mild level, I didn’t really dig it. Celia’s was nicer. It had a sweet taste to it. 

I expect garlic naans to be soft and squishy. Moist and covered in garlic. I was surprised to find there’s had a chopped dry garlic on it and had a dry texture. Maybe I’m just used to crappy food court Indian and this is the good stuff but I prefer the former. 

The curries are good size though and are served with rice. They were about $26 each. 

Honestly I probably prefer cheap franchise indian.. It may not be the ‘proper’ stuff but I enjoy it more. Poor form by me? Maybe. 

Where else is good in Morningside? 






Fat Dumpling Bar, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

I’d been recommended to visit Fat Dumpling by a few people, Friday night, upon learning it was BYO was the night. 

When we arrived they said half an hour but then seated us straight away. Service was certainly slow – they could do with an extra staff member for sure.

The hilarity began when I was opening the champagne. I took the metal and foil off, ready to pop the cork but the waiter distracted me. POP!!! The cork flew straight up to the roof and ricocheted back. Suddenly the whole place wanted to chat to us. 

We were speaking with two people on a date (the guy wasn’t too happy but the girl was chatty as can be) to start then the table next to them joined in too. They’d obviously had a few wines already and were rather jovial! 

It’s quite an intimate space, only one line of table on each side so when the dating couple with annoyed boyfriend left, the waiter ushered us into their table and pushed it over to join the rowdy tables saying ‘you can sit with your friends now.’ It was all pretty funny and we were having a great time with them but did feel rude gate crashing their party so old mate waiter could fit another in couple! 

Anyway it took forever for him to take our order. We went with the steamed pork and cabbage, steamed prawn & garlic chives, crystal cucumber salad and the salt and pepper squid (as recommended by rowdy table.) 

Very glad we took the squid recommendation, it’s the best I’ve had in a long time. Great flavour and great texture. The dumplings were delicious – soft and flavoursome. 

Fat Dumplings is cheap and BYO, it’s on Brunswick Street in the Valley so easy to get to and while the service certainly wasn’t spectacular, we did make some lovely new friends and nearly create some new ventilation in the roof with our cork! 




Kiwi Visitors

I FINALLY convinced my family to come visit me from New Zealand! And by family, I mean my brother Luke and his friend Sam. The rest are still on the roster.

Luke and Sam arrived early Friday morning and flew out Monday afternoon. A short but fun filled visit. How fun filled you ask? Here’s their itinerary…

Friday:
Fly in, home to change and eat, dropped to city
Train home, nap
Dinner party then out
Visit Fridays, Black Bird, Laruche, The Met & Cloudlands

Saturday:
Straight to Gold Coast
Movie World adventures
Home to Lauren’s to change for half an hour
Draculas Cabaret show
Out to the Casino
Drive around Surfers night life

Sunday:
Say goodbye to Lauren
Breakfast out
Harbour Town outlet shopping
Surfers Paradise tourist sightseeing & lunch
JB HI FI to buy a MacBook air
Drive back to Brisbane
Sit down for an hour
Groove Train in the city for dessert
Black Bird for drinks
South Bank for sushi and a look around

Monday:
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mt Cootha look out
DFO outlet shopping
Airport at 3pm ready for flight back to NZ!

The boys were so tired they were falling asleep in the car! I wore them out but they saw the best of Brisbane and I hope they will be back, I had the best time playing your guide and hanging out with them.

Can you guess from the pictures which one is my brother?

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Melbourne – time flies

I decided it was time I went back to Melbourne. My dumpling cravings were ridiculous and I supposed I should catch up with my friends too!

I managed to escape the massive storm of cyclone Marcia, although I was half waiting for them to cancel my flights.

Once in Melbourne I bussed then trained to Nikita’s house who was having such a ball that she forgot to meet me! We ran into her apartment to get changed only to find there was no power so I changed and did my makeup in the dark.

The waiting cab took us to the Saxon in Richmond where Rosie and some of their other friends were waiting. I downed a few cocktails to catch up before heading to Chappelli’s where we shared a bottle of champagne and downed a chicken risotto, garlic bread and chips.

Pawn & Co was next on the cards and we stayed there until late. Or early.

Saturday I spent time with Nikita & Rosie (including a dumpling run to Hutong) then headed to Hawthorne to visit Lisa. She has a great new house and talked me into doing a new painting for her room. We made dinner and settled in to watch a movie.

Sunday we met Nikita for brunch and afterwards Lisa and I went to the city. I bought a great leather mini at Zara.

Sammy picked me up after I had devoured some more dumplings. I met her beautiful Chow puppy, Hugo and we settled in at Beachside in St a Kilda for some ciders. My very good friend Adam, his lovely fiancée Sally and Mum Fiona met us and we laughed the afternoon away.

So much so that I nearly missed my flight! Yet again I was running through the airport to make my flight. Finally got on the plane and they shit the doors only for a siren to go off. The plane was grounded for 1.5 hours and after all those coders I was busting for the bathroom!

I sat next to a hilarious guy from Brisbane, we chatted the whole time. He actually made me cry with laughter 7 times ( I was super tired) and I managed to make him cry once. Fair effort I thought!

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