Sunday, July 31, 2011

Detox Sunday

I feel like this weekend was filled with too many of those aforementioned marshmallows, so I deemed today detox Sunday in prep for the week ahead.  The below highlights the scenic moments of the day, I'll spare sharing pictures of the bathroom tiles now sans bathroom scum (my crowning achievement of today).

New flowers for the week
C and I walked the City2Surf route today in a bid to get fit (yes, my legs feel like they're about to fall off).  Some glorious person on Old South Head Rd has this wonderful, generous bubbler outside their house!
Restorative piles of falafels and hummus on the balcony after our walk - when Sydney has days like this in the middle of winter it makes me forget all about that rain.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The week gone by

Yes I do realise the aptness of my last blog post also being my only post for the whole of last week - clearly not taking my laptop home is really not working out for me.  My comprimise is that I'll only take it home on weekends and try to line my posts up for the week.  I am pretty confident I'm going to fail at this so why don't I just post a bunch of pictures of the week gone by.

Complimentary homemade marshmallows to finish of a dinner at Neutral Bay Bar & Dining - the North Shore definitely needs more places like this!
C is back from SF!  We went out for Mexican to celebrate, and it was nice to see twos of everything we ordered.
An amazing whole baked snapper at a wonderful friend's place - not only was it delicious but I am always impressed with anyone who can buy and bake a whole fish, it seems like such a grown up thing to do!
This is my favourite dress that I secretly wish I could wear every day (yep, I bought it from that time I was at Zara) - it looks great with black tights and doesn't require ironing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"A blog is a broadcast, not a publication.  If it stops moving, it dies."

This is from Andrew Sullivan, via swissmiss once again.  Am posting this primarily for myself as a reminder to post - it's not the enthusiasm for blogging that I'm lacking but in a bid to reduce my screen-time I've made a resolution to never take my laptop home on weeknights.  It's been one night and I'm already doubtful (am typing this from work).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend ritual

I always feel better prepared for the week ahead when there are fresh flowers in our apartment.  Going out and buying flowers also gives me a handy excuse to delay tidying up and making sure I have clean underwear for the week, i.e. doing the things I actually need to do before the week ahead, so yes replacing the flowers has become my weekend ritual.

I normally get them at the markets, but as I was also picking up flowers as a gift for a friend I treated myself to a florist.
Poppies waiting to hatch
Out with old, trimming up the new
I always bundle up the old flowers in the wrapping from the new flowers
New flowers for the week.  Yep, I can go do my laundry now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't threaten me

Oh Sydney, what is wrong with you?
My uniform of the last few days: trench, boots, umbrella
"Don't threaten me with love, baby.  Let's just go walking in the rain."

Thanks Billie Holiday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wet weather activity

Visiting my parents last night I had the joy of reliving one of the things that my mama always used to do for me when I was a kid, peeling mandarin segments so we can enjoy them skinless and seedless like juicy candy.  She insisted on it - were watching Law & Order in trackpants and it was raining outside - I wasn't going to argue:

Me: "Mama are you eating some too?", Mama: "Yes, I am doing my system of one for me one for you".
My portion is gathered to the side of her plate
Shiny juicy segments
So good.  See I wasn't lying about the trackpants.
Best wet weather activity ever.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

From failure to failure

"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

I've touted my big belief in the enthusiasm before (also on a hump day, bizarrely) - this quote from Winston Churchill extends that.

Shades of grey

Dear Sydney,

I'm pretty sure we had an agreement that you would never rain like this again, but I guess you didn't get the memo:
That tiny distant bump in the distance is the bridge
Needless to say I am all too thrilled that the cowl I bought off etsy got here yesterday!  So excited, it is cosy and perfect and being able to wear it straight away is the silver lining to this dreary day.

Ahh again with the stripes
And yes I do realise that I am always wearing this jumper, evidence here and here - don't judge me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Emptying your inbox

"The naive office worker empties his inbox. 
The professional works to understand how the office functions."

I took this quote from one of Seth Godin's latest posts, I don't always agree with the way Godin writes but this is a great illustration.  Then again, maybe I'm just saying that because my inbox is always overflowing.

Street party

I often enjoy engagement parties more than the wedding itself (not sure if that makes me a bad person) - but they're usually just so much more relaxed and I find they often reflect the personalities of the couple moreso than when they're going through the ceremony of their big day.  A street party I went to on the weekend had exactly that appeal - from the balcony speeches through to the delicious make-your-own-sandwich table, the whole afternoon had the charm and whimsy of the engaged couple themselves:

Fine folks on the street
The talented man getting married - his vest is adorably knitted by his mum!
Another reason I love engagement parties - the food is always an amazing mix of home-assembled platters by various family members
Cupcake on the street + good wine + great company = perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon
Congratulations again to the happy couple - couldn't be happier for you both!

New toy

So you might have noticed that the quality of pictures on here has increased significantly since I decided to invest in a Canon PowerShot s95 (if you'd asked me what that was a month ago I wouldn't have known) - basically a high quality point and shoot camera that is still small enough to fit in my handbag.

For someone who works at a tech company I am shamelessly terrible at operating technology, hence it took a few takes and the help of some patient co-workers to get that fancy focus-in-the-front-but-blurry-in-the-back effect, but now that I've mastered it expect to see it ad nauseam:

Setting up our subject for focus

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hotdogs at The Dip

Let me be upfront about the fact that I absolutely do not want this to turn into a food blog, but it just appears to be migrating that way of late because what I eat happens to be the thing I most frequently snap (not sure what that says about me). 

Having been back from the US for almost a month now I decided it was time to revisit my love of hot dogs at The Dip which has just opened up on Liverpool St:

An impressive array of punch jug options
They are famous for their smoky hot dogs - we even asked for extra cheese.
Pulled pork nachos with handcut fries - too good!
 I hoovered this up with good friends over Pimm's Punch - a brilliant Friday eve had.

Tokyo Banana

One of the best things about when colleagues take work trips is that they bring back exotic snacks on their return - today I sampled the Tokyo Banana:

It's basically this super soft puffy banana sponge cake...
With this delicious custard in the middle - so so good...

All gone.  Can't beat the Japanese for packaging - check out how precise and fresh that wrapping is!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A house

Tree trunk house in Santa Cruz park
"A house is a machine for living"
Oh Le Corbusier, how I love thee.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ritual: Sydney Version

Back to my Sydney coffees, which I use as an excuse to escape my desk for awhile, although this time I have to pay for it like a normal person (unlike back in the US):

I will never get tired of this view - note the bridge in the background.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend things

I'm still not over the novelty of being home for the weekend, was so good to catch up with friends in neighborhoods I know and the sun was glorious!  If my outfits are anything to go by, it's safe to say that Sydney winter is the same as San Francisco's 'summer'; we're definitely spoilt with the weather over here and I enjoyed every minute.

Brunch at Forbes & Burton with a super good friend.  Actually, I could be anywhere and I will very often order toast and scrambled eggs with avocado on the side.

Brenda May gallery, my favourite of the Danks St clan.
Kirribilli Markets by the bridge
Every time I see a large vintage glass bottle I really really want to buy it, and the only thing that stops me is thinking of the look on C's face if I were to bring it back to our tiny apartment.
Cabbage flowers growing in pots: the other thing that I always want to take home but never do because of the same reason as above.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's the end of the week ya'll

Winter afternoon
"Finish each day and be done with it.

You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in, forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered by your old nonsense."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jars with flowers

I am a complete sucker for a jar with flowers in it, hence when Orto opened up a couple of months ago I couldn't wait to check it out!  Along with two wonderful girlfriends who are also part of the flowers-in-jars appreciation club, we grazed over piles of delicious sharing plates:

The cocktails come in jars too - complete with old school stripey paper straws - this was a divine pomegranate caipirinha.
A whole roasted artichoke with a heart of goats cheese (!) accompanied by a 'deconstructed dumpling'.
As they only take reservations at 6pm and 8pm, they turn tables on each of those hours.  We arrived at 6pm but were edging close to the next crowd of people by the time we ordered our trifle to share.  This meant that we were carted from our table to the lounge out the front - but with blankets, outdoor heating lamps and more jars (this time with candles) it turned out to be the perfect way to end the evening:

Trifle in the twinkling dark
Thank you Hannah and Amy for another great tri-birthday dinner!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Secret snack stashes

There is this funny thing that happens at work where people hide the good snacks as soon as they are put out (I am guilty of this).  While the microkitchens are always overflowing with different treats, there are certain food-putting-out cycles which seasoned Googlers are also in tune to (e.g. the ice-cream fridges are refilled on Tuesday, so if you want any chance of a Magnum you have to get in then, otherwise it's only paddle pops for you).

I thought I'd document the snack I do this for in particular - the natural Greek yoghurt:

See at the beginning of the day there are piles of the stuff in the fridge, but come after lunchtime and it will be gone.
Deliciousness - only the one with the picture of the brown cow will do.
So I pick a couple of tubs up in the morning and hide it behind the coke on the bottom shelf.  My logic is that anyone drinking coke won't want non-fat Greek natural yoghurt anyway.
Then I enjoy it later in the afternoon, piled with honey and berries - unfortunately I don't have a picture but check out those nutritional stats - 0g Fat and 15g protein!  Others look on in envy, thinking I have scored the last yoghurt when really I just pulled it from my secret stash.

Monday, July 4, 2011

To-do list

I always have a million to-do lists on the go, and there's always the temptation for me to wave it around so everyone knows how busy I am, especially when I feel under pressure and overwhelmed -  hence this Startup Quote was great to read today:

Better just shut my mouth and get back to doing things.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Finally got to spend some time with my parents this afternoon (hadn't properly caught up with them since they got back) - presents were given, borrowed suitcases returned and most importantly crispy pata were had:
Piles of pork
While I would like to pretend that I have a family who celebrates my return by cooking up a feast, we actually had this down the road at Lamesa - perhaps the only Filipino restaurant on the Northern Beaches.  Crispy pata was the highlight for me, which is basically piles of pork that you boil, drain, cool and then throw into super hot oil to get the skin all crispy.

Okay I know that's not for everyone, so now here is a picture of the flowers they got for me as a welcome home:
Now in their home next to the TV
 Great way to wind down the week.