Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part One)

It’s Monday the 31st of October… Halloween. It’s a perfect 20 degree day with the sun shining brightly over the backyard. Alistair’s cactus has bloomed, and Darcy has consequently bitten the flower since then (Darcy is Mum’s dog, not a human – that would be weird). Baker’s Delight have started stocking their fruit mince pies and we’ve snagged a couple to eat while watching Love Actually. My backpack is packed, my final catch ups completed, my stomach content and my heart is so, so full.

Our two and a half week trip home is nearing an end, and a little part of me is relieved. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement. However, it has been so worth the long journey home.

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We hit the ground running seeing family, friends and the familiar sights of our home town. I think on day two I was already back at Jacob’s ladder, simultaneously checking out the city and struggling to breath.

We visited our beloved beach and fought against the sea breeze to ride down to Yelo for a coffee and breakfast. I never realised how much I love our seaside until we were away from it for an extended period of time.

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The first week we stayed with Andrew’s parents, his sister Chelsea and their cat named Tess. I must admit it was lovely to wake up and have the house full of people running off for bike rides, or making coffee, chit-chatting the whole time.

One quiet day in the middle of the week we thought we’d play tourists in our own city and headed out to hike a little at Lesmurdie Falls.

This hike was quite the opposite of those we’ve done in Canada, but it was just as serene. Nothing makes me feel more at home or more relaxed than hearing the birds chirping, insects buzzing and kookaburras laughing in the middle of the bush. This day was such a nice reminder of why we will eventually return to this beautiful part of the world.

I was also lucky enough to spend a decent chunk of time catching up with my favourite gals. My beautiful Brianna was back in town for a weekend (she’s moved to Melbourne since I’ve been gone) and we all celebrated over wine and pizza at the Beaufort Street event Beauvine.

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The wine tasting was warmly welcomed, the food was tasty but the company was what made my night worth it. There’s something to be said about a friendship that can pick up right where it left off no matter how much time has passed. I’m fortunate enough to have eight of these, and seeing all of these faces makes me one happy gal indeed.

More to come on our time in Perth, if you can believe it our second week was busier than the first!
For now, Mum and I are celebrating Christmas instead of Halloween and making up for lost time.

Hanbel.
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There Has Never Been a Sadness That Can’t Be Cured by Breakfast Food

Welcome to Hannah and Sheena’s weekend of food, where we ate our way through Melbourne and saw a little bit of culture in between meals.

It was a very indulgent weekend, and I don’t think either of us regret a thing. Sometimes, you just have to let go and enjoy yourself!

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First stop: Tempranillo at Arbory Bar, on a dreary Melbourne evening. Continue reading

10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Spring

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  1. Our roses have shot up, seemingly out of nowhere
  2. Not being freezing all the time, especially getting out of the shower
  3. The change in fruit and veggie season, goodbye potatoes, parsnips, leeks and all things heavy
  4. Rosé
  5. Being able to drink Number 4 outside (preferably in a beer garden, with some hilarious friends)
  6. Swapping to lighter sheets
  7. Everyone smiling in the sunshine
  8. Packing the stockings away
  9. Not being too cold for ice cream/frozen yoghurt
  10. It marks the beginning of the holiday season!

Hanbel.
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Turns Out I’m a Daddy’s Girl After All

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I love my papa.

He’s a gentle soul, a quiet achiever and music buff. Nothing makes him happier than a great meal, an excellent glass of red and countless hours in his music room, perusing his impressive record collection.

Neither Alistair or myself have lived with him for several years, and due to Melissa’s political commitments they are often travelling or busy with functions. This means I don’t get to spend a great deal of time with my Dad, but it does make those fortnightly (sometimes monthly – woops!) catch ups extra special.

With Andrew in Melbourne, and Melissa coming home late from Canberra, I took the opportunity to invite my Dad around for dinner last night. I must admit I was pretty intimidated to cook for him, he’s one of the best cooks I know and takes great pride in his food. I needn’t have worried though – he loved it all. Honestly, I think it was one of the best nights we’ve spent together. He brought around a bottle of wine, I cooked Spanish fish stew (which he’s told me he can’t ever have at home – Melissa doesn’t like it) and we chatted; for hours.

Dad and I have always gotten along, but there have been times, especially growing up, where I found him frustrating or didn’t understand where his thoughts were coming from. It’s so interesting to see how our relationship has changed as I’m growing up. I no longer feel the need to change him; I appreciate his good qualities, and forgive him for his minor flaws – just as he has done for me my whole life.

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After he drove away, I shut the door behind him and noticed the smile on my face. I’m lucky to have this man in my life, and I’m even more lucky to have finally realised that.

I always thought I was exactly like my Mum. I look more like her, we speak the same way and use the same gestures.
Lately, though I’m realising how much I take after the first man in my life. And you know… I don’t mind it at all.

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Hanbel.
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So I Sat There and Had a Glass of Wine

There is nothing like a quick weekend getaway, other than a longer holiday.
Unfortunately, we’re all a little busy with work or study and therefore had to settle for two nights at Dad’s holiday home in Dunsborough.

Andrew picked me up after work last Friday, and we raced down to meet up with Dad, his partner Melissa, my brother Alistair and his girlfriend Ellen. They had wine, dinner and a crackling fire ready for us – what more could you ask for?

Dad and Melissa have had this house for quite a few years now, and I have the best memories of my time there. Andrew and I have snuck away for weekends now and then, we celebrated a Christmas there with the whole family and I am always reminded of summer holidays with Rhiannon. Which is bittersweet, but I’m okay with that.

This time round, we were invited as part of a deal. If we helped them out in the garden, we would be rewarded some decent food and a night out. Seemed pretty reasonable…

Continue reading

Why You So Obessed with Me?

Hello beautiful people!

It is time again to share my latest obsessions… I get hooked on things quite easily, but also change my mind quite often.

*Apologies in advance, a lot of these are food related. I’m hungry.

1. Bircher Muesli

IMG_5226I eat this for breakfast. Every. Single. Day. I love it, and can’t get enough!
Oats are one of the best foods to start your day with, SO MANY health benefits, including fibre for your heart and good carbs to burn throughout the day.
To make this bowl of deliciousness, I soak 1/2 cup oats in almond milk overnight.
In the morning I add half a grated apple and a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt – stir to combine.
And then the toppings! These change regularly; the above is kiwi fruit, a little nut mix and maple syrup = heaven in a bowl.

2. Netflix 

I know, SO late to the party. We began with Stan because that was available in Australia first, and then we got hooked on Community and couldn’t give it up. However, this past weekend we gave in.

It’s Netflix time. Give me allllllll the Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Arrested Development, Suits etc.
Goodbye free time!

3. Charcuterie Boards

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With the weather cooling right down, it’s definitely the time for comfort food. Wine and cheese nights have never been more welcome. Especially when you don’t have to leave the house.
Saturday Date Night In consisted of grabbing a picnic from Smoults Deli, opening a bottle of red, moving our mattress into the lounge room (in front of the heater) and watching Django Unchained, courtesy of [No. 2].

4. Mandarins!

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With citrus in season, how can I go past these little morsels to up my “2 fruit and 5 veg” intake.
Deeeelightful!

5. Goodreads

This website/app is must for all book worms out there. My dear friends Lucy and Brooke were already on this bandwagon, and introduced the other half of book club to all it’s possibilities.
It’s fantastic! You can log all the books you’ve ever read, and even track the dates to see how many books you’ve read in a year.
You get to rate each book as you add it to your list, as well as log books you want to read in the future.
If you log in through facebook, you can see what all your other friends are reading and how they rate them all.
Finally, if you download the app you can literally scan in the barcode of your own books to add them to your list.

BRILLIANT! My inner book nerd is rejoicing!

What are you all obsessed with at the moment?
Share away…

Hanbel.
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