Friday, August 28, 2015

Yummy Dinners and Flights

Nothing too new here but I bought a new nail polish today, it's a plum color, and I'm very excited because I pretty much rotate the same 3 or 4 nail polishes so it's always fun and exciting to get a new one and try it out. I really like it and I'm glad I bought it, especially for under $4, can't beat that. I bought it from Target because I've been on a bit of a Target spree lately (for no real reason, I just really like it).

Tonight I made really tasty garlic lemon chicken so I was pretty pleased with myself. It's been fun branching out and making some other stuff. I was getting pretty bored with the regular meals we make so I wanted to learn some new ones and it's been fun, even though I never would have categorized myself as someone who likes to cook. Who knew.

The sauce was a little too lemony, but with it being the first time I ever made it I think that's ok, but overall it was very good!

We're beginning to finish planning our New Zealand trip at the end of September/early August and it's very exciting. We booked our flights to Christchurch a while ago since there was a sale and they were a good price but now we're looking at the return flight. We'll probably fly back on the Emirates A380 (my favorite plane because it's a double decker) from Auckland, but what we're doing in the middle time I'm not entirely sure. We're looking at taking the train from Christchurch to the tip of the South Island and then a ferry across the Wellington and then up to Auckland, but that's not set in stone yet. I'm really looking forward to it and although we're nearing the end of our time in Australia at least there's still stuff to look forward to so we're not sad about it.

Tonight I'm sitting here and listening to Eurovision songs and it's quite fun. I'll update again when I have something more exciting to share. Until then!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

So Much Chinese Food

The weather hasn't been that great the past couple of days and Michael's had his days off these two so we mainly just lounged around the house not doing much and just taking it easy. Last night we decided we didn't feel like cooking so we ordered Chinese from our favorite Chinese restaurant, Mahjong, which is up the street from us. I actually tried something new, but I don't think I prefer it. I usually get beef in black bean sauce but this time I got sheered beef in Mandarin sauce-- I liked it but it was a bit too fried for my liking.

However, today we saw that Mahjong was 40% off... So even though we still had leftovers we ordered more... I know, so bad. But how could we possibly pass that up? I tried their szechuan chili chicken tonight and it was pretty good, I think I preferred it to what I had last night but I'm not sure which I like more: it or my beef in black bean sauce. Now I have tons of leftovers though and I'm going to be eating Chinese food all of tomorrow as well.

Not a whole lot of other news. I can't remember if I shared this way back, but I created a travel blog a few months ago and after writing maybe half a dozen stories I realized I really wanted to write about other stuff as well. So this week I've been working on revamping it and turning it into a lifestyle blog (but not one of those obnoxious icky ones, I'm really trying to be helpful and interesting). It has a travel section that I intend to write a ton more in, but I just wanted to be able to talk about other stuff as well. At the moment I'm just trying to create content and not marketing it like crazy because I want there to be a fair amount for people to read if they do come. Have a look if you like, but there's not a whole lot on at the moment. I'm also trying to get some posts up with better photos than what's on there at the moment. Eek.

I have work on Thursday and that's about all for now. The next time you hear from me I may never want to eat Chinese food again. (Who am I kidding, that's so not true.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Makeup and Dinner

Today I went to Target, not to buy anything but just to wander, but I ended up buying two things. One of them is a L'oreal BB blush that I've heard about and really wanted but as far as I was aware it hadn't made it to Australia yet, but they had one and it was even half price! Talk about winning. It's really awesome because I can't wear normal blush because my skin is really dry as it is so it only makes it worse and cakes up, but this one is a cream/gel and goes on so smoothly and moisturizes a bit. The best part though is that it comes out of the tube clear and then changes to a pink suited to your complexion, saving the trouble of finding a shade that suits me.

I also read people use it as a lip stain too and I tried it and it was really great for that too and who doesn't a love a 2 in 1 product. For $10 I was very satisfied and I can't wait to use it more. The second thing I got was a red lipstick. I'm so pale and normally I don't feel I can pull of red and the few I've bought in the past made me look more like a clown than anything, but I was looking at this one and it matched my skin tone so perfectly and it was only $4.70 so how could I pass that up.

Not the best of photos since they're selfies, but I just wanted to demonstrate what it looks like. I'm really pleased with my purchases and I'm excited to finally have a red lipstick that I look good in.

Tonight I made my "fancy" dinner and it went well! I made Thai meatballs in peanut sauce and it was super tasty.

I know it doesn't look all that appetizing in that photo, but the lighting in the kitchen isn't great, they were really nice though. I think I might would put a little more red curry paste in them the next time but the rest I'd keep the same. I altered the recipe slightly (taking out some stuff we don't like and adding some stuff we do) and I think it worked great. We have some leftovers so I'm looking forward to eating them tomorrow. Hmm, what's next? I saw a nice lemon chicken recipe, maybe that!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fancy Dinners

Tonight I made chicken kiev with bacon! It wasn't perfect, but since it was the first time I'd ever made it I don't think I did half bad. I will admit I was a little stingy on breadcrumbs and I think next time I'd use a little more, but it was super tasty. I made my parsley and garlic butter from scratch and I added bacon because I love bacon and given the opportunity I'll put it in anything. I could have put a little more of the butter in the chicken, but it turned out pretty well regardless. 

I made it with some mashed potatoes and it was a really nice and filling dinner that I would definitely make again. It could use a bit of improvement, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Tomorrow night I'm making something really fun for dinner but I'm not going to tell you what it is because it's a surprise and if I put it here Michael will see. It's not a surprise for any real reason, I just read a recipe for it online and I thought it sounded amazing so I just thought it would be fun. It's not overly complicated or anything so it should go fine. I'll post tomorrow night and let you all know how it went (and what it is).

I had work yesterday and that went well, but coming home was very annoying. I checked the tram tracker app and it said my tram was coming in 15 minutes and the next one wasn't for almost an hour, so obviously I went to get the one in 15 minutes. However, this tram seemingly didn't actually exist because it never showed up, despite being on my app and the screen at the stop, so I ended up waiting there for another 40 minutes, which was really annoying, especially when they're supposed to be coming every 10 minutes at the latest. I did eventually make it home, but I just got a pizza from the end of the street because by the time I got here I was way too starving to make anything. 

Nothing else all that new so I'll post tomorrow about my dinner-- wish me luck! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Free Burrito Day and the Rhino Truth

Today is a day I've been waiting for. I got myself a delicious free burrito, and while I had to wait in line for 40 minutes, it was totally worth it. How did I get this free burrito you may ask? Well there's a burrito place called Guzman y Gomez and every time they open a new location the first day is always free burrito day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

I was going with my friend and we were going to meet during her lunch break and I'm so glad I got there early because the line was absolutely crazy. I knew it would be busy, but I had no idea just quite how busy. The line snaked through this whole outdoor restaurant/food alley and most of the way down the street. It's right in the middle of the city so some people seemed really confused and I'm not kidding when I say people were literally chanting "burrito."

The line took about 40 minutes to get through, but because this place is totally awesome, they walked around with chips and guacamole (for free) for you to eat while you waited. They also had live music (Mexican, of course) that was insanely loud and when my friend joined me we literally had to scream to hear each other.

The wait was totally worth it though because the burrito was delicious and totally made my day. And the fact it was free makes it all the better. I had intentions to get back in line and get another one for later, but the line stayed pretty consistently long the entire day so I just didn't bother.

The line and going around the corner

15 minute mark

Just around the corner, still a line

And finally the burrito

I got a spicy chicken one and it was very very tasty. My friend and I took them and ate on the steps of a building across from the train station and it was a beautifully sunny, and relatively warm, day so it was a nice afternoon. 

The rest of the day I just ran a few errands and that was all and tomorrow I'm at work. I think tonight I'll be dreaming of my free burrito. 

Lastly, there has been a development on the rhino front. It turns out the rhino's name is Spike and he's won awards for being creative and effective. Apparently they use Spike for (what they call the Rhino Campaign) because it encourages people to be aware around trams, which can weigh up to as much as 30 rhinos.

The campaign originally started as being "Beware the Rhino" (hence the heavyweight tram analogy) in 2011. Since then people became familiar with Spike and they've extended it to other stuff. I guess people just grew to love him so he didn't need an explanation anymore. Even though I did. I guess it's a cute idea when you think about it and the fact he's been around for a while. They say by using the rhino (which is random) caught people's attention and they were more likely to read it and take it to heart.

I guess Spike has done a lot of good though because apparently in the first year after they introduced the Beware the Rhino campaign the number of pedestrian/tram collisions decreased by 25%.

You learn something new every day. You go Spike.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Safety Rhino

So tonight's post will be about the safety rhino. Although I've seen the safety rhino on every single tram since we arrived almost a year ago I never thought much of it because, yeah, it's weird, but it's not that exciting. However, today, I noticed a new leaflet and it's just so ridiculously absurd that I feel the need to comment.

In case you're wondering what on earth I'm on about the safety rhino is this picture the tram network (Yarra Trams) use to convey to people to be careful. It features a rhino on a skateboard telling people how to be safe around trams to avoid being hurt or killed. Here's the normal one that's on every tram.

Then this is the one aimed at drivers.

As I've said, both are very weird, but I just didn't think about them too much. A rhino and a skateboard, there are weirder things. Today I found out what that weirder thing is.

I mean really, just, what? Why is she riding the rhino? Why is the rhino on the tram? Where's the rhino's skateboard? What's that sign? Are they on the tram or at the stop? If they're at the stop why are there the handles from the ceiling? There are so many questions I have about this, of course the main one just being what?

I felt as though I needed to dedicate a blog post to this because it's just quite silly and absurd and I thought it would give everyone a good laugh. If you're wondering what was in the leaflet it was very unexciting, just your average stuff that you should know. I'd really like to know where the rhino idea came from and if he's more effective than other animals. Like, why not an elephant? Or a kangaroo or koala? You know, just an animal they actually have there.

I wonder if we'll be seeing more rhino-themed things on the tram in the next few weeks. I guess we'll see and I'll be sure to share. I hope they get more ridiculous because that would be fun.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lake Mountain (Snow)

Today we decided to drive up to Lake Mountain to play in the snow. It's about a two hour drive from Melbourne and there are walks, skiing and tobogganing. The drive up is pretty scenic though and we saw this from a lookout. 

We had to hire some overpants, boots and toboggans since we don't have those things here and it seemed silly to buy them. Since it was a Tuesday it was pretty quiet, which was nice, because the place isn't super huge. We don't ski so we went mainly for the walks and tobogganing, and it's possible the ski pistes are really nice, but the places for tobogganing weren't exceptional.

We started out by walking up to the summit, which was a beautiful and super quiet walk. It was snowing really hard and was a bit foggy so we didn't see anything, but the walk itself was awesome. On the way back we encountered some pretty deep snow because I took a step and fell up to my knee into snow. During our walk we also built a snow koala, which is much better than a snowman.

Colin II the snow koala

Me and Colin II the snow koala
Up at the summit

Snowy trees

Selfie on the summit

After we walked to the summit and back down we got some food from the restaurant and went and got our toboggans out of the car and headed to the slopes. We were lucky for it to not be busy at all so we started out on one called Koala Creek (which sadly had no koalas) and went down that one quite a few times. The only other people on that slope were a family of four, so we were quite lucky. The toboggans we hired weren't very good at steering though and at one point while trying to steer I flipped over, so that didn't go exactly as planned! 

We then headed to another slope which was quite fun, but had more people so we only did that one once. We walked to another one, which technically said no tobogganing today but we did a couple anyway just for fun. Here are some photos from the day. 

One of the toboggan hills

Me in the snow 

Nice view

Me and my toboggan

The toboggan at the bottom of the hill


We had to return the equipment by 6 p.m. so we left about 5:15 and made our way down to Marysville where we hired the stuff. The drive back went smoothly and although I'm sad to have left my snow koala behind I'm really glad we went because it was fun to get in some snow for the winter. It was pretty strange being in snow and essentially sledding in the middle of August, but I suppose that was part of the fun. It was a nice day and tomorrow we finally return the rental car so it'll be time to say goodbye. It's served us well and we've done a lot of fun things with it, so I'll always remember this one fondly. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

More Elaboration

As promised, here are some more photos from the trip. First off, here are some photos of the other animals we saw at the wildlife park in Adelaide.

Some rainbow lorikeets by the entrance

A pelican (we also saw some wild ones later in the day)

A cute little wallaby wondering what's going on

Isabel feeding a wallaby

Mama kangaroo and joey trying to climb back in the pouch

George feeding the many wallabies who surrounded her

Two quokkas

Some dingos

A mandarin duck

The echidna who wouldn't stop walking in circles

Koala trying to get to his leaves

Tasmanian devil (who has no left eye)

And of course our lovely and favorite wallaby (courtesy of Isabel)

I can't resist adding this one as well. If any of you have seen Titanic, all I thought when I took this photo was: "Draw me like one of your French girls."

I think you can see why

Finally here's the wild pelican (of two) we saw in the wild in Adelaide, along with a photo of the pier at the beach in Adelaide.

I have obviously way more but these I think are some of the best ones. I was really happy to have my camera this time around because I was able to take some really nice photos and that makes me very pleased and satisfied. To finish off this segment of the post here are some photos Isabel took (or are from her camera) that I thought were nice.

Now if you remember I mentioned in my last post that we drove to Mornington Peninsula so here are some photos from the beach we stopped at on the way and some photos from almost right at the tip where the bay meets the sea. We drove all the way to Sorrento, which is the town just before the peninsula, and then drove down to the national park and walked the rest of the way to the beach.

Beach by Mornington


The colorful beach huts we saw

At the peninsula

The gap is where the bay meets the sea

It was all so much fun and I'm glad we got to do as much as we did while they were here. Now to finish this post here are some of my photos from yesterday while Michael and I were plan spotting and saw tons of kangaroos.

The cutest little joey with mama

The very large and intimidating kangaroo

Munching on some grass

Curious about who we are and why we're there

There were more even than this! 

Sun setting 

The sun just dipped below the horizon

We still have the rental car so we actually went back to our plane spotting area again today, but we didn't have as nice weather. We still saw a ton of kangaroos but it was cold, cloudy and a bit rainy so we got some Chinese (yes, again) and sat in the car watching the planes land. We saw a few interesting ones like Ethiad coming from Abu Dhabi and Sichuan Airlines coming from Chengdu.

The sunset tonight

Ethiad landing above us

It is a bit of a dorky thing to do, but we really enjoy it and we have an app on our phone that tracks the planes and tells us where they are, what airline and where they're coming from (among other things like aircraft type, altitude, etc.) so it adds an extra layer of interest for us. It was a good day and now we're back home deciding what to do tomorrow for our last day with the rental car.

We're thinking we might go to Lake Mountain, which is this mountain about two hours from here, that has lots of snow and skiing and other fun outdoor activities. We don't ski or anything, but it could be fun to just go and see some snow and play in it and have some hot drinks and stuff. We haven't decided yet, but I'm sure it'll be fun. I think this post is long enough and has enough photos so I'll post again in the next couple of days with what we choose to do tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have even more photos for you all then. (But I can guarantee they won't be as exciting as all of these animal photos above.)