Saturday, July 23, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 229

I love rain. As much pain as it causes Chris, because it makes the water damage in our roof that much worse, I can't help but be stoked when I discover rainy days coming up on the 7-day forecast for Perth. This particular Tuesday morning was crazy and beautiful and stormy... and look what it did to the sky! That was something pretty extraordinary to spot through my kitchen window after waking up... Rain is amazing. I get so depressed during our super dry Perth Summers when we might not see rain for 2 months at a time. Also, if I'm to be honest I'm not looking forward to drinking recycled sewage, so bring on the rain!

What I Did 365 - Day 228

How to start your day in an amazing way: stick on some tunes! I've been loving listening to music in the mornings lately - I set up my trusty laptop on the kitchen bench, pick an artist and bask in songs while I do the mundane morning tasks (breakfast for me and the dogs, making lunch, finding my shoes, etc). A good album and a good cup of coffee put me in such a great mood! Lately I've been listening to Train, Bruno Mars, Jeremy Larson, Owl City and Demi Lovado. If you're remotely interested. Which you should be, because that's some excellent morning listening.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 227

We have this rockin' friend Steve. Everyone should have a friend like Steve - he's one of the funniest, most genuine guys we know! Steve fell head over heels for a sweet girl called Mel and when they got engaged recently, I sheepishly cried "I haven't even met her! This just won't do!" So a couple of Sundays ago we had Steve, Mel, Kat and Andrew around for a Mexican feast. Despite the check-out guy at Woolworths frowning at me and saying "Uh... if I was having people over for dinner to show off my new kitchen, I'd cook something more impressive than Mexican" it was an excellent and tasty plan! I slow-cooked the taco meat - something I've never done before, but now something that I must do almost every time I make tacos now or my husband might claim negligence. The whole night was a fun, relaxing time spent sitting around a table filled with food - what could possibly be a better way to spend a Sunday night? It was fantastic meeting Mel, she's beautiful - and she and Steve are super cute together! Oh, and Kat made the yummiest dessert for us - coconut icecream with lime juice-infused mango on top. Mmmmmmm!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 226

Welcome back to the kitchen renovation that never ends! And here you were, thinking that the kitchen reno posts were over. Giggle. Our kitchen is almost complete but is lacking 2 major things: a rangehood, and splash back tiles. A couple of Saturdays ago we FINALLY trekked back out to the tile shop to buy the splash back tiles. And you are now sitting face-to-face with said tile. I love the texture of it! But what I loved marginally more was the fact that the nice lady at Imported Ceramics gave us a GIANT discount on them - I think because we'd bought all our floor tiles off her too. It was such a happy surprise to leave the shop with more money than we thought we would! Hooray for nice people in the world eh?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 225

Never let it be said that I only choose flattering photos of myself to post on my blog!!! This is me being real - some weeks just leave you feeling drained out of your mind, and I guess the on-and-off sickness just took it out of me. I came home from work on Friday feeling like I'd run a marathon, and subsequently spent the evening doing as little as possible and heading to bed at 9. I love heading to bed early sometimes - how good does it feel to stop fighting the tiredness and cover yourself with doonas and blankets!? That's what Friday nights are all about people!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 224

I know that I'm known as a lady who loves to cook, but when it comes to baking my sisters trump me! I still haven't quite found that huge passion for baking the same way that I love putting a good dinner together, but my sisters make me wish that I did have that passion! They come up with the loveliest sweet creations super regularly (like twice a week!) The cupcakes above are Nahn's creation - chocolate marbled cupcakes with ganache and toffee shards. Wow! She brought a couple to me to brighten my day at work and they were so freaking good. New rule - cupcakes should always be topped with toffee shards!!!

What I Did 365 - Day 223

Behold, the greatest dip that has ever existed... my avocado dip! I say 'my' dip, but I actually wasn't the genius who came up with the recipe. But don't you reckon you get a sense of ownership over a dish when you learn it well enough to whip it up on the fly without needing a recipe? I do! Plus, all my friends refer to it as "your amazing guacamole" shortly before/after begging me to bring it to their next gathering/movie night/birthday party/weekend away. It's magical with Cheese Supreme Doritos. And because I'm sugar-sweet, I'm going to point you towards the recipe so you can discover it for yourself - Avocado Dip.
On this Wednesday, I was feeling flat-on-my-back sick. You may recall my mentioning that I was ill over the weekend following my family coming over for dinner, and that basically haunted me on and off for the next few days, Wednesday being the worst of it. I spent the day moving between my bed and the couch, and not eating. But the evening came and being a Wednesday night, it was a Paradox gathering - one which I had promised to provide a bowlful of dip for. So like a hero, I left my sick-bed long enough to mash avocados, finely chop onions and pick a lemon from our tree. Then I sent Chris on his merry way, dip in hand, and I settled back down onto the couch. And thus ended my day of illness - and the first sick day I've taken from work in a loooong while! (Excitingly, I woke up the next morning feeling mostly better!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All I Want To Do Is...

Finish this sentence: My name is _____ and all I want to do is _____
Can you answer that? I can’t. I don’t have that one definitive idea of something that will make me feel satisfied. What do you do when you want to do everything?
I’ve always been a huge dreamer. My head fills up with ideas all the time. Songs I could compose, hair accessories I could make, novels I could write, recipes I could invent, pictures I could draw, events I could plan, photographs I could take. I live in this place in my head where I could do anything I want. I feel like if I concentrated hard enough on one of these things, I could actually succeed at it. In high school I decided to be a screen writer, and I would sit at my desk for hours after school and on the weekends, banging out movie scripts, usually with 10 or more on the go at any given time. A bit later, I decided to be a song writer and within weeks I’d half-filled a journal with lyrics and sketches of guitar chords and progressions. So what happened with that yearning, that passion to pursue the thing I loved? As sad as it is, I think that when there are so many things that I want to pursue, I lose motivation to really pursue any of them. On my computer, I have countless beginnings to stories that I end up abandoning as soon as writer’s block hits. This morning I purchased a midi keyboard and the recording software I learnt to produce music with when I studied electronic music in 2007. This afternoon I’m meeting with my designer-friend Kirstin for a monthly business meeting, to discuss our business plans – for me that means an online shop that I closed and want to re-open some day in the future. I’ve started planning and writing a dinner-party themed cook book. All of these are incredibly happy endeavours, but my fingers are in too many pots! I know that there will be people who read this post and say “There are no rules – pursue everything that your heart desires!” But I can’t. I have loads of passion, but I can’t stretch it out that far! You can’t become amazing at something when you’re trying to become amazing at four other things at the same time – developing skills requires a solid commitment, not a commitment split five ways. So instead of making sacrifices and picking something to pursue whole-heartedly, I take the opposite end of the spectrum and spend most evenings planted on my butt in front of the TV; pursuing nothing, achieving nothing.
So how do I choose? How do I commit myself to fewer exciting pursuits, when I just want them all?

What I Did 365 - Day 222

Smile! This was a fun night. Kat, Amy, Elyce and I decided to get together for coffee fun on the foreshore. I love hanging out with everyone at our Paradox gatherings, but it's also nice to take it down to just a handful of people for some good, honest sharing! Plus I got to know Elyce a bit better and found out she's in a band. I guess that makes her one of the coolest girls I know, instantly!!! Heh. Amy also scored major cool-points because she was slipping around the place on this funny little hardcore skateboard device like a boss. And Kat is cool because she used to be in a band too! Everyone is cool! After we'd downed our various hot beverages, I forced everyone into a little photo-snapping session which was more fun than you'd think! Haha.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 221

As mentioned in the previous post, this Sunday was spent in bed. Mostly asleep. But you can only sleep for so long, and so I spent the afternoon completely lacking in energy and confined to activities designed to enhance the bed/couch-ridden experience. Enter crochet! Last Winter I decided to crochet enough granny squares to make a big cosy rainbow-coloured blanket! It's a good idea in theory, but after about 20 squares the weather started to warm up and I lost my motivation. But we've hit Winter (sort of) and the rainy coldness has inspired me to pick it back up again. I was excited to learn that I've still got the granny square pattern planted in my brain so it was incredibly easy to get going. And so satisfying! I laid out all of my completed squares and got completely inspired to keep working - it's going to be so lovely when it's done!

What I Did 365 - Day 220

Hahaha. Oh I love my family. And I love this picture of them. This picture is actually a record of two very cool things from this particular Saturday - 1) Chris assembled our new table and chairs! Our first ever non-hand-me-down dining setting! And 2) I got to cook for my family, to show off the mad talents of our shiny new kitchen and also as a small thankyou to them for all their help throughout the renovating process. They took our dogs every single day during the tiling and construction phases, and my Mum cooked us at least 2 dinners each week. What would we have done without them!? On the menu was cheese and onion bread, parmesan and herb-crusted chicken pieces, potatoes colcannon, baked garlic prawns and broccolini, with kit-kat slice and a lemon tart with raspberry coulis for dessert. So the prawns were over-cooked and the broccolini was under-cooked, but the bread and the potatoes were mouth-watering! I really enjoyed the night, and the family must have too because they stayed till midnight! The only dampener for me was that I woke up at about 5am completely sick to my stomach and ended up staying in bed all day on Sunday. Not related to the food thankfully, but those over-cooked prawns now haunt me and trigger my gag reflex when I think about them...

What I Did 365 - Day 219

My sweet friend Helen celebrated her 21st a couple of weeks ago. What a fun way to end a Friday! We grew up with Helen (and her older brother Sean) basically as if they were our own siblings. We had a lot of crazy fun times as kids. These days we don't see a lot of each other, but I always appreciate a catch-up. Helen's 21st was exactly the kind of party I love - relaxed, good food, good company, and wow... amazingggg cake!!! Haha. I loved listening to the speeches and hearing about all the amazing things that Helen has achieved, and is working towards. She's one of the most motivated people I know when it comes to fighting the good fight for a number of causes. Her Mum Jo's speech kind of made me feel like I should be doing a lot more for the world! It was really cool to be able to celebrate this mile-stone with Helen, alongside numerous other family friends who we've known for years.

What I Did 365 - Day 218

As of Wednesday, June 15 it's been five years since this crazy American agreed to date me! Wow. Five years doesn't sound like a long period of time, but that's a fifth of my life so far. I smile when I think back to the year that we were just friends... I find it strange that once upon a time, I knew Chris in a whole other capacity. If only we knew then what we know now hey? Actually, I find it even funnier when I think back to the day I met him - I was 19, working at Jesters (a pie shop) and he came in and bought a pie and a drink off me. He recognised me from church, and I felt incredibly guilty because I couldn't remember ever having seen him before in my life. I assumed he was 10 years older than me, and a travelling businessman (ha!) We parted ways, and I felt an immense stab of guilt for the next month every time I spotted him at church!

Anyway! We celebrated our five-year dating anniversary with Tapas at Rustico. We enjoyed pork & venison meatballs, crispy skin barramundi on creamed leek, potato croquettes, slow-cooked beef cheeks with bread annnnnd for dessert, churros! What a great night! I love this guy. It shocks me sometimes when I realise I love him even more than I did the week before. It sounds cliche, but it's so true. Even when we got married, feeling as though we couldn't possibly have any more capacity to love each other any more strongly, we had no idea of the amazingness that was to come... I love the surprises of love!