Friday, August 31, 2012

And on Fridays we order pizza

like a ritual, most Fridays, even with the best intentions and meat defrosting in the sink, we order pizza.
we watch movie after movie and talk til our eyelids can't stay open any longer.
he tells me of his secret ambitions and I tell him of my greatest desires
and my feet rub against each other, and I know I've had too much to drink.
at some point the light switches off and were cuddled deep into the blankets 
and I think to myself, are we boring? and I always say, no, we're not. we're perfect. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tonight is for...


burning the incense and lighting the candles
trading the TV for some jazz music
savoring a nice glass of wine after preparing a hearty meal
spritzing on perfume and wearing the comfiest pajamas
laying under the warmest blanket and catching up on a good book

because sometimes, a girl needs to unwind.

Oh my SALE & my recent obsession with the 20's

Lately I've been noticing a little bit of 1920's fever spreading around the blog-o-sphere. I've seemed to catch it as well because art deco, flappers & dappers have all been on my mind recently. It probably has something to do with the new Great Gatsby movie coming out soon, but to be honest, I've been intrigued by the era since I was a kid. I've probably been a flapper for Halloween at least twice and I've always been fascinated by the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, nevertheless, I've jumped aboard the train and am all about it now.

So you'll imagine my delight when I find that Naomi from Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups has posted about Flapper Doodle's $1 print sale! Dollar prints get me excited as it is, so I hopped on over to the shop and was so happy to find that the majority of the prints feature a 1920's theme.  I purchased 3 and am so excited for them to arrive.

It was super easy to order, and all you have to do is enter the code DOLLARPRINTS for any 4x6 print you buy from her store. 

Happy shopping! :]



Monday, August 27, 2012

Sydney Spotlight: Hemingway's

Last week a friend & I took a spontaneous trip to Manly to have lunch and catch up.  As soon as we set foot in the neighborhood, I knew I wanted to check out Hemingway's. I had spotted the little cafe on a previous trip to Manly months ago, and was immediately intrigued by the name.  Obviously named after Ernest Hemingway, and being the slight literature nerd I am, I knew I had to check it out.  So when my friend and I took the trip to Manly, I immediately suggested it to her -- for no other reason than it's name alone. 

Oh man, I'm so glad we went. 

Hemingway's -- 48 North Steyne, Manly 

Located right across the street from the Beach, Hemingway's is fairly easy to spot and has gorgeous views.


I was completely surprised by the interior of the cafe.  Lined with bookshelves and bookshelf themed wallpaper along the bar, I thought it was the perfect theme and Mr. Hemingway himself would feel right at home there. The antique furniture and deep brown hues across the room really played with my senses, as for a moment I forgot that I was in a beach town instead what felt like an old library or maybe even Hemingway's office. 



The water was served in a gin bottle and the glasses that accompanied it contained ice! Most establishments in Sydney don't serve ice in their glasses, so this was a nice surprise. The menus were located in encyclopedias and the prices were relatively on the lower to medium side of the scale.  My friend and I decided to get a few entrees to share, so we could taste a variety of dishes. 

Chips 'n' Gravy - $12
We ordered the Chips 'n' Gravy, Corn & Tostadas. Oh MY GOSH, so yum. The handcut chips were completely out of this world, and were the best chips & gravy I've ever had.  I loved how rustic it tasted and the oxtail shredded over the gravy really made this dish a winner. I could not stop eating it.

Corn - $6
The corn was such a nice surprise.  Living in Sydney, one of my constant cravings is "elote" style corn, which is sold by street vendors, usually Mexicans, in various towns all over Mexico & California and covered in butter, cheese, chili with a sprinkling of lime juice on top. Many restaurants try to imitate this style of "street corn," but so far Hemingway's has come the closest. It is almost as delicious as I remember it to be.  My one flaw with their version is the portion. Only half of the above was one serve! It's too good to be that small.  
Tostadas - $12 for 2 Serves
Another massive surprise was the tostadas.  They contained king fish ceviche with thai style dressing and avocado puree.  While messy to eat, they were the perfect mix of salty, tangy, sweet and crunchy.  The fish was cured to perfection and the play on textures between the soft fish and crunchy tostada had my taste buds singing. At $12 for 2, I had absolutely nothing to complain about. 

I'm sure by now you can tell my experience at Hemingway's was fantastic.  If I had one complaint (other than the small corn portions) it would be that my friend and I were sitting at a table with bar stools that was much too high to eat our food on.  We kept spilling food all over our laps! Next time, I'll sit at one of the regular sized tables, and leave the sky high table for those drinking cocktails -- which apparently are good there.

I hope I don't need to spell it out for you, but GO TO H.E.M.I.N.G.W.A.Y.'S   N.O.W.  



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blue


I won't even sugar coat it. Sydneysiders are blessed.  We are afforded the luxury of living near one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Those of us who are ultra lucky use the ferries to travel to and from work every day. Alas, I am not so lucky, but last week, I found myself aboard a ferry twice, witnessing the magnificent views for myself. Here's what I saw... 









Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Outfit of the Day


I could feel the last bits of winter melting away yesterday, as the sun shone steadily at a warm 70 degrees. In fact the weather was so nice, that I took off my cardigan shortly after this picture was taken.  We went to check out some apartments, and Miguel & I fell in love with one in particular.  It was a gorgeous one bedroom apartment with crown molding on the ceiling, a brand new bathroom and a large backyard in a perfect location. We put in our application, so fingers crossed, we get it.  

Outfit Breakdown:
Cardigan: SES
Tank: H&M
Jersey Skirt: Express circa 2006
Espadrills: Sportsgirl
Sunnies: Gift from my Momma
Necklace: Tiffanys, a gift from Miguel

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Currently



Loving: slow mornings, warm coffee and feeling the last bits of Winter melt off into Spring. It's a magical time.

Reading: new blogs and the backs of DVDs. We've just purchased Breaking Bad Season 2, Mad Men Season 4 & Chappelle's Show Season 2. There's way more TV watching than there is reading right now, but I promise by this time next week, I'll have an actual book to share with you.

Listening To: Incubus HQ Live Deluxe Edition.  I saw the album on Spotify's new releases, and the fact that it was a "live album" intrigued me.  I love the added personality that comes with a good live album whether it be picking up the differences between the live and recorded versions or listening to the band talk to the audience between songs. I love hearing the audience's reactions, and mostly I love the feeling that if the live album is a really good one, I can close my eyes and imagine I was right there in the arena as it was being recorded. John Mayer's Where The Light Is: Live from LA album is probably one of my favorite albums of all time for this reason.  

Planning: my next big move in more ways than one. I can't tell you both sets of plans, but I will update you on one.  Since I've Trusted The Universe, I have dived head first in all that is apartment hunting.  We are still in the midst of finding the perfect gem, but I feel like we're getting closer.  It's nice to see what's available to us, and I am loving the hunt. I can't wait to find our next home.

Working On: making this transition period in my life as smooth and easy as possible.

Wishing: that I knew what the future has got in store for me.  I guess though, that's the fun part -- living life every day with the best of intentions and shaping it to be the life I want to live.  It really is a time of adjustment for me, and the most exciting part is knowing I can turn this ship any direction I wish.  It would be nice though, just to get a little hint or sign from the Universe, confirming that I'm doing the right thing.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

My ONE Olympic Highlight or the Mexico vs Brazil Game

I don't know if I've complained about it on here yet, but I've never watched so little of the Olympic Games than I have watched during these 2012 Olympics. Miguel & I don't have Foxtel (the Australian cable conglomerate) and Channel 9 did such a ridiculously bad job covering the games.  I complained and whined almost every night as I tried my hardest to find any footage of the diving, swimming, gymnastics & track and field. I tell you truthfully that I saw no diving, very little swimming, a small amount of gymnastics & track and field.  I'm so sad that I only got to see Micheal Phelps last race of his Olympic Career, and nothing else.

The one saving grace of the 2012 Olympics for me anyway, came from an unlikely sport. Soccer. I love watching soccer, but for whatever reason, have never linked it to the Olympics. (terrible I know) This year however, Mexico and Brazil were in the finals, and being the true Mexican Miguel is, we HAD to watch the game.  Knowing how terrible of a job Channel 9 was doing at airing the Olympics, we decided to watch it at the 24/7 Sports Bar in the Star Casino. The match was not going to air til midnight our time, so we invited some friends and made a night out of it. SO FUN.



It was so great to see such a large turnout at the game.  I really thought not many people would show up since the Mexican Community in Sydney is so small. There ended up being just as many Mexico supporters if not more, than there was Brazil! 


Table full of drinks and good friends, while Mexico kills it. What more do you need? :]

 Celebrating the win with other Mexico supporters!

Even though I'm not Mexican, it was great supporting Miguel's team and partying with all the supporters at the game.  It was so odd, yet so fantastic to be among other people who were all cheering so passionately for a team which Miguel & I associate with home, yet all of us were cheering from a country all the way on the other side of the world.  In some way, it was like a community was quickly built between all of us  immigrants/expats/tourists who were all cheering for the same thing and probably feeling the same homesick pang I felt. This really gets me excited for other big games coming up, as I'm sure Miguel and I will be back out at the Sports Bar finding the same community we found here. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Trip to the Queen Victoria Building

I had some extra time to kill while in the City today, so on a whim, Miguel & I found ourselves on the top floor of the Queen Victoria Building.  The building is incredibly ornate and historic, and the top floor feels fit for a Queen.  Here's some quick shots I took from my android.

This clock was so detailed. All the dials moved and each panel depicted something from Australia's early history.
Stained Glass Dome

Terrible picture of the stained glass windows
Long staircase that led to the tiniest door up top!

You can't deny it, the Queen has some humor. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Trust(ing) the Universe

I'm a big believer of when you put something out into the Universe, it will return bigger and better than you ever expected.  Everything that I've really ever wanted in my life has all happened, has all come true. I'm not talking about my little girl dream to be a gymnast, or my fleeting moment of wanting to own a bakery, I'm talking about my deepest passions, my truest desires and things I knew were attainable in my short 23 years of life.

I find that these moments of clarity, where I decide I truly want something, happen out of the blue in the utmost spontaneous moment. Today, while I was finishing Underbelly and catching up on blogs, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The time has come to move. Don't get too excited, I'm not talking about moving countries and continents (again!) just quite yet-- I'm simply talking about moving into a larger, more suited apartment in  hopefully the same suburb.

If you don't already know, Miguel & I live in a sweet baby baluga studio apartment in one of my most favorite suburbs of all time, Newtown.  This studio was my first foray into adulthood.  It's the first place I've ever, ever lived on my own, and it was love at first sight. After signing the lease and living solo for just one month, Miguel came to join me from the States, and it has been here that we have been living and growing our relationship for the last nearly 2 years. In that time, it has been everything we've needed it to be-- warm, comforting, full of light and full of love.  It has kept us safe as we navigated through Sydney and has always been our safe haven.

Nearly two years down the track, and I find that the once comforting closeness of our home, now feels a touch cramped.  I dream of larger closets, a living room with a sofa and a place where friends and family would feel comfortable to hang out.  As it stands, our visitors are very infrequent, and with the lack of seating space, I don't blame them.

So today, I've decided to put it out into the Universe. It's time for a new home. It's time to move on to greener pastures, and see what else Sydney has to offer us. It's time to let the great home hunt of 2012 begin! Wish us luck!

Happy Monday!

eeeek Monday! that's definitely grounds for a beer right? right??
The week just started, and I'm already exhausted. Oh Monday why must you be so difficult? Since I've already finished my day, and odds are you're just starting your work week, I thought I'd share some things that are helping me get through. 

The Spice Girls are back! Be honest, did you squeal at your TV as much as I did during this performance?

Lamb Kofta Recipe that I'm dying to try. 

I NEED these in my closet. 

The new season of Underbelly is starting today!!! 

& lastly, Mexico won the gold medal in soccer and I was smart enough to place a bet and win some MOOLAH! 

What's helping you get through the Monday blues? Have a fantastic week, friends. :] 

Monday, August 06, 2012

Currently


Loving: Miguel. Seriously & truly. We've just celebrated our 3rd year anniversary, and I can't help but look back at the 11 years we've known each other. From those awkward 12 year olds in middle school to grown adults living in a country abroad, it's only gotten better -- especially this last year.  Everyday is full of laughter and love, and I can't ever imagine any of it changing. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have my closest confidant as my truest love.  

Reading: OH MY GAH I just finished one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. Portia de Rossi's Unbearable Lightness was almost too fantastic.  It deals with Portia's struggle with anorexia & bulimia throughout her childhood and early adulthood.  While the topic is a difficult one, I found myself intrigued and interested in Portia's account of her early years, and all I wanted to do was read more.  Every time I put the book down, I wish I hadn't.  During the day I would think about it, and when I got home from work, reading was the first thing I wanted to do.  It's been a while since a book has done that for me.  Portia's tale is a sad one, but ends in the happiest way.  I don't think I can recommend reading this book enough!

Listening To: My Happy Face playlist on Spotify.  It's a playlist I've been slowly curating at work whenever I hear a song come on that makes me smile.  Bands featured on it range from Van She to the Klaxons to Phoenix.  I'm not great at explaining my music so if you're so intrigued give it a listen HERE.
Anticipating: Doing my taxes tomorrow.  It's that time of the year again, folks.  Not much else to say about that, taxes are boring. Tax returns however, are not. ;] 

Planning: My mom's birthday party! I think I was a party planner in my last life.  I really, really enjoy throwing together a party and picking out all the decorations, food and drink for it.  It's a milestone birthday for my mom this year, so I'm putting together some ideas to show her so we can plan it together. Can't wait. 

Working On: Getting used to wearing my glasses. I'm a brand new four eyes! I was getting some really bad migraines at work for the last few months, and I finally realized it was because of straining my eyes.  The eye doctor has since confirmed it, and has prescribed me with my own set of specs.  I'm kind of enjoying the novelty of it now, but I'm really hoping they work and cure me from those intense migraines. 
 
Wishing: that I had better coverage of the Olympics.  My local network has only been showing highlights for the most part, and I have yet to see one stinkin' medal ceremony. siiigghhhh 

and that's it! Have a lovely week folks! 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sydney Spotlight


How happy am I that winter is starting to warm up? SO HAPPY. I'm one who gets deeply affected by the weather, and I find that when it's warm outside, I'm at my happiest.  So with good weather and a hopeful heart, Miguel and I found ourselves heading to happy hour at one of my favorite outdoor bars ever. 

Zanzibar, Newtown (image via)
Zanzibar is located on the corner of Eliza and King St in the heart of Newtown.  With 3 floors all equipped with their own bar, it can easily house tons of people.  Each level has it's own uniqueness to it, but I find that the rooftop courtyard is the level I keep going back to.  When the sun is out, and the time is between 12-3 on a weekend, I think of Zanzibar. Why? Their rooftop bar is killer.  



 The table and chairs are all wrought iron with comfortable cushions. The decor is somewhat boho and jungle themed, and the bar staff are the friendliest.  This coupled with happy hour cocktails at 9 bucks a pop make you truly feel that you have been transported to another city instead of being smack dab in the middle of the busiest street in Sydney.  The vibe is mellow and when the sun hits just right over the bar, I get the happiest feeling of euphoria. I always, always say to myself life is good especially while I'm sipping on a margarita. 
Margarita & Long Island Iced Tea $9 at Happy Hour (12-3pm Saturdays & Sundays)

Which is another thing. I love my margaritas. Seriously. I really, really love my margaritas. But Sydney? Not so much. Practically every bar that I've ordered a margarita from has found a way to destroy it.  Some put too much tequila, others too much lime others still don't salt the rim and they all charge an arm and a leg for their crappy version. Zanzibar? They make it just as they should -- a perfect mix of sweet and salty and just the right amount of tequila, and for $9. It's perfect. 

So next time you find yourself strapped for cash on a sunshiny Sydney day, be sure to take yourself to the Zanzibar Rooftop Courtyard. You won't regret it. I promise.