Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sweet Second Lunch

Hey Chia!

Love the change of the blog Colour! It's warm like the awesome summer we are experiencing!

And your biscotti... I must say, from my personal experience, your biscotti, it looks and it tastes amazing!

I was fortunate enough for you to come and visit me yesterday bringing sweet homemade treats for me! Not only that you also treated me to frozen yogurt! Such a pretty second lunch for me:

I just don't know what I'd do without you. Seriously. You make me feel special every time :)

Just a short and sweet post just like our lunch date yesterday!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cranberry and almond biscotti

Wow Anna!

I am certain that my life would be near complete if I lived right by your beach. It would be a holiday everyday. Your weekend recount highlighted just how lucky we are in Perth and how lucky you are to live near the beach.  The pristine waters!!! I have been limiting myself to a once a week visit to the beach to spare my skin but now I am so tempted to go tomorrow. The nearest beach being Port Beach/ Cottesloe,  there won't be any chance to experience any of  the creatures you saw. Imagine the chance to see the dolphins! I wish you better luck next time. So long those fins don't belong to a shark!

Nowhere near as exciting for me and this will be a short post of the cranberry and almond biscotti that I made today. Mum loves this biscotti and she asked me to make it for Chinese New Year.

 Recipe from Women's Weekly. I adapted it for CNY by adding in the cranberries to give it a bit of red since it's a lucky colour.

3 egg whites
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 large handful almonds
1 large handful cranberries

Whizz the egg white until it forms soft peaks.
Gradually whizz in the sugar.
Gently sift and fold in the flour.
Transfer to greased loaf tin.
Bake until top is golden about 20 minutes in a moderate oven.
Let it cool and wrap it in aluminium foil overnight.
Slice it as thinly as you can with a bread knife or if you have one of those machine that slices thinly.
Lay on baking tray and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes in a moderate oven. Flip it over if it curls on one side.
Let it cool and it should gradually harden.


I doubled the recipe because one batch doesn't make enough. Trust me, it's hard to stop yourself at just one.  Incredibly healthy and no fat! A baking win! If you're free Tues or Wed I'll have to pass you some.

Have a good day!

Post Australia Day

Heya Chia!

Awwww your drawings are so beautiful! I especially like your Rodent and Christina's lion! There is something about coloured pencils that is so beautiful.  I think I really like how the texture of the paper comes through. I also love how adding water can change a drawing completely! It really changes the colours and the picture to something completely different! I can't wait to see what you guys complete this coming Wednesday!

As for your long weekend, it looks like you had a lot of fun! The bushwalk looked quite adventurous! How was the weather? Were you guys out for the whole day?

My Australia Day was pretty full on. In the morning I did my run and house chores and then met up with Kev to head to Anaconda to buy... wait for it... $5 boogieboards! I saw them in the brochure and knew that I had to get some because when we went to Mullaloo with Clem the last time, we all were thinking 'damn, we so should get some cheap boards if possible!'  We also got Clem a board but he opted for a $50 which was of a superior quality by far! Our cheapy boards were made of foam with a crab drawn on it! I unfortunately do not have a photo of it, but it's quite a funny board.

After that, Kev and I went to an Australia Day party/housewarming party where by we pretty much just chilled out, drank cider, beer, vodka jelly shots and ate. It was a pretty relaxed night!

The next day, Kev and I took it easy and went shopping at Mountain Designs where I bought a winter jacket which I can compress into a small ball and is super light! But I will do a separate post about that! :)

After shopping, we called up Clem and went to Mullaloo Beach to RIDE THE WAVES! It was sooooo much fun! We had such an exhilarating time on our boards; reading the waves and then hopping onto our boards into the barrel when the time was right! Kev and I were super proud about our $5 rides! However, by the end of our long session (almost 2 hours of boarding) Kev cracked his board.  Clem's board definitely stood the test of the waves.  Perhaps if Kev and I board more we will look into getting better quality ones.  But for the time being, we will be rocking our crab boards (even if we do share the same boards as the majority of the kids at Mullaloo beach).

After boarding we went to Hillary's and had some awesome fish and chips! YUM!


Today I woke up and went out for a run. It was a little cooler than expected and there was quite a breezy easterly wind. As I made my way down the usual route I was greeted by the brilliant turquoise ocean ahead of me. I took a detour to the beach entry and this is what I saw:


I got super excited and called up Kev (accidentally waking him up!) and told him to come down ASAP as the water is so good that he had to try!  Previously, I had told Kev that I wasn't ready to take him out to snorkel near my place as the water was a little difficult and the reef made it hard to manouvre safely. As such, I wanted to be confident about the area (and in my knowledge and skill) before showing him around. So you can imagine how wonderful the water was if I was willing to forget all of that!

Unfortunately Kev had things to do, so he told me that he wouldn't be able to make it.  As I ran back to my house to get changed I messaged him the above photo in hope that I would change his mind.

When I returned, that man that you see standing in the water with the black pants in the photo, was still standing there! I got my gear ready, waded in and asked him if he had swam beyond the reef yet. He told me that he had not, and I said 'well, perhaps you should give it a go!' As I climbed onto the reef he followed me, which was a little encouraging because there was a part of me that was a little scared about what had happened the last time I tried snorkeling beyond the reef.  However, once we jumped into the water, it was beautiful! It was so blue blue blue and so clear and the water was perfectly cool. I felt like I was in another country!

Me in the middle of nowhere! I love the sail boat!

It was such a wonderful day Chia! I can't express how happy I was! As I was exploring the reef I was able to find a few little marine friends:

Recognise this guy from a previous post? It's a Red Lipped Morwong!

Jellyfish. I don't like these guys. I actually got stung by one on my arm which has left a little red scar. 

When I had a little break I saw that there was someone waving at me on the stairs up on the shore. It was my mom! She had come down to see what I was getting up to (as she is frequently witnessing me rushing back home in a flurry after a run, changing into bathers, bringing my snorkel gear and running off again).  I decided that after snorkeling for about 30 minutes with visability decreasing, that I should call it a day.

However, when I came upon shore and talked to mom I saw a familiar person approach behind mom!

Hi Kev !
Kev said that he was convinced after seeing my photo! Ah-HAH! It worked!

After that, I was re-energised and knew that I had to show Kev all the things I saw! Not only that, as we were getting back into the water we saw the biggest Stingray! He was flapping his wings at the top of the water as he was getting caught up in the shallow pools in and around the reef.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a photo :(

Here are some shots of what we saw:

Interesting limestone formation

I'm riding a dinosaur!

Big fish - I need to classify this in the future
Recognise this fish too? The Angel fish from a previous post!

Lots and lots of fishes!

This fish seemed a little trapped in this limestone formation

For me to classify later!

Here's a video of the fish we saw:

When Kev and I finally left, we spoke to a couple who were also leaving. I asked them if they saw the Stingray, and they said 'Yes!'

I also told them of a little incident that happened earlier with the man who I had convinced to go beyond the reef.  After I had been snorkeling for a while, the man called out to me saying that there was something large in the reef. I swam over to him as he had gotten out of the water and was standing on the reef pointing to an area ahead of him. He said he saw something swimming around that was grey and large. I asked him if it had fins and he said he replied saying that he wasn't sure. I was curious so I had a little look around but slowly my own mind started to freak me out (was it a shark?).  It was then that as I looked around I saw Mom waving to me and so I decided to head back.

However, after telling this story to the couple, they said 'No! It was a dolphin! There were two!' I was flabbergasted! I can't believe I missed out on swimming up to it!

It was an amazing day for snorkeling at my beach! I was invigorated and excited for hours after!

Anywho, that concludes my long weekend. Back to work tomorrow!

Happy Australia Day Perth!

Hope you are having a fabulous long Australia Day weekend Anna :)

 I know people complain that there isn't a lot to do but I love this city! Admittedly, it may not be the best city to live in if you're single but with an open mind and actively looking for things to do, anything is possible.

Some reasons off the top of my head why I love this city. I'm not sure if they convince people to come to Perth for the first time though.

1. It's so easy to get around in your car.  Apart from the roadworks, it's ridiculously convenient to drive anywhere.
2. It's sparkling clean.
3. Sandy white beaches and sparkling waters are a short half hour drive away.
4. The pride and maintenance of our parks, picnics and barbeque facilities especially Kings Park and South Perth.
5. People are friendly and smile at you wherever you go, but my favourite of course is when I'm going for a walk.

Of course there are a lot more but I have never appreciated the above more than anything else after living and travelling in various countries.

I'm curious to know what you love about Perth :)

Here is what I wore yesterday. I was on a mission to make it crazy.

Getting my green and gold on.
Christina brought these along. Best homemade cupcakes EVER! I had three and a half cookie monsters :) Figured I could have more than one if I reduce the calories by removing the eyes and mouth. Not a fan of marshmallows unfortunately.

Guess where one of them went?

We had fish and chips ready to eat by the foreshore to watch the fireworks, but we left before we even decided on a spot we were swamped by mosquitoes. So back to the apartment where dinner was eaten in comfort.
And what better way to celebrate this beautiful country by being in the outdoors and hiking the next morning.  Alarm was set at 6am. Four hours of sleep did not stop me!
Exactly what that says
Deciding which way to go
Plenty of energy to expend. Must be the cupcakes.
Figured second time round it was easier to walk across it rather than craw.
Why does it always feel higher than you think?
Discovered and delighted by little shiny crystallised sap balls
Discovered and disgusted by clusters of caterpillars/grubs/wriggly furry somethings
On the way back to the car we saw a family of four kangaroos making their way through the carpark. Lucky us!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still drawing strong

Hi Anna :-)

The week is nearly over and the long weekend is just around the corner. To think we were in Lancelin last week. The hilarity of it all was relived through your post. Your recount, photos AND videos captured what I missed. I am thoroughly ashamed (and amused!) about the videos and I've been told that it conjured some laughs for our readers so that is all that matters. Life is too short to be too serious yes?  It's addictive though. I want more adventures and more experiences.  I'm a greedy guts :)

Back to placid old Perth. This is what I made for lunch for Wednesday's drawing sesh with Christina.

I call it The Gazillion Veggie Thai Salad.
 I read a couple of Thai crunchy salad recipes online and thought I'd increase the amount and variety of veggies because we love our veggies. Crunch, chomp, crunch. Yummy, but there was plenty of chopping involved.

In went:

red cabbage
Thai basil
spring onions

rice noodles

and for the dressing:
soy sauce
fish sauce
chilli flakes
white vinegar

I really love our drawing sessions. I'm embracing all this free time to unleash my creativity and master drawing with pencils.I don't know if I mentioned, but each Wednesday we aim to complete a drawing.

First Wednesday I drew the orange as you've seen previously and Christina drew this wickedly delicious apple. Doesn't it look like it came straight from Snow White? Who would blame her for taking a bite of this apple.

Second Wednesday she drew this

In action

 And I drew this Australian rodent

Rough outline
Getting there
Finished. A bit of instagramming touch up
And yesterday she drew this. I think she said it was a Kingfisher.
Before water
After water
Isn't it incredibly stunning the way the colours come alive when you add water with a thin brush and glide the pencils over whilst it's still wet?

As for my drawing, it's incomplete and not ready to see the world yet.
Time for bed and a little wishful thinking... maybe one day we'll make millions as illustrators.
Nighty night!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Sandiest Silliest Summer Getaway

Hey Chia!

Wowie! You've been very busy! Thank you for the double post!

I must say I love your skirts! I've walked in Miss Brown a few times (they have a shop in the City too!) However, I've never bought anything! I just enjoy walking through as I am drawn by the palette of colours that all the clothes are carefully organised into. I usually find one or two items that tickle my fancy, however, I always walk out empty handed. Your skirts are beautiful! Super jealous of your bargain, vintage find!

Just looking at your blog made me miss the weekend!

Thank you for being such a super elf and organising all the food, accommodation and transport! Your choice in food really hit the spot! I loved loved loved all the yummy vegetable snacks, the three olive dip, tomatoes... I just want to eat them again!

From my point of view, Friday just went on forever! I wanted to leave work as soon as I walked into the office and sat at my desk that morning. Your smses in the afternoon made me mentally 'check out' at around 3pm.

I was so excited about our mini get away and quite amused that I was actually 'on the way' for once! This was going to be our first time to Lancelin, located north of Perth.

Road Trip!

We know where we are headed to!

We made such great time while making use of the long summer days! Though we left my place at 6.30pm, we were able to enjoy the long warm evening, and avoid driving during night.

The long horizon

The sun peaking though the trees

Once we arrived at our accommodation  we were both hungry! I can remember wanting to dive into the goodies that you had prepared for us!

Our room for the night

I too enjoyed the D & Ms. Nothing like a good chat on a road trip! It's amazing what good food, a relaxed atmosphere and MnM's cookies can do! I loved how we ended up moving the food from the table and squishing them all onto our spare bed where we just lazed on there and chatted about where we had been and where we plan to go.  Not to mention a few moments of star gazing and seeing two shooting stars each! I must say we are very lucky!

I also laugh at our irrational fretting about the bed, and you recalling your experience with bed bugs on your Contiki Tour. After that, what was once an inviting bed, turned into a bed where you and I wrapped ourselves in sarongs in order to avoid ducking under the blankets. Luckily it was the ideal summer night. Not too hot and not too cold.

The next morning I awoke at 5.30am with my throat killing me. I tried to stay quiet so that I wouldn't wake miss sleeping beauty next to me, however, you woke up soon after and were gung-ho for a morning walk!

You also humoured my 'barefeet' running/walking trial and so off we went, on barefoot, to find the ocean.

Morning photo!

Our accommodation

Hrmmmm MnM cookieeeeee

Once we returned from our morning walk we ate our breakfast (the left overs of Friday night) packed up and started our day. After asking the receptionist, we knew that we had to make our way to 'Special 7'  to pick up sand boards for some sand boarding!

Our map!

We were bubbling with excitement about our adventure! I was pleased that you were also happy to do the sand boarding early as the weather forecast was for a hot one!

Us excited! I loooove this photo!

Though it was a short drive, we still made the most of the car ride there; especially once you put on your cool Arabic tunessss...

Haha! I think we did a pretty good job keeping a dead straight face. I was about to burst out laughing any minute!

When we arrived at the dunes our adventure started! And so did the wind and heat!

At the entry to the dunes

You and the crazy winds that picked up the sand
At the top!

Going down!

Well... not really going down... but I must say it was just as fun as going down, perhaps a little funnier!

Here we are actually going down:

We didn't get a lot of smooth rides, and the video we got of me was the only smooth one.  After trying different parts of the dunes with no success of achieving a smooth ride down, (due to not using the wax, as you had mentioned earlier) we ended up just taking fun snaps at the top. Here's a few pics:

Summer Sandy Babe

Climbing up a sandy "mountain"

After all the hard work walking up those sand dunes in the sun, our two hour time limit was up! And just when we realised that using wax was what we needed to make the boards fly!

However, we were hot and I know that I needed a drink and a break from the sand flying in my eyes!

After returning the boards and getting some yummy icy poles, we made it to the beach for a quick dip in the ocean and to finish off our food for lunch.

Nothing like a picnic after a morning filled with exercise!

Oh GOD! I slept with my mouth open?!?!? HAHAHA! Oh no! I guess Chinny's video was true then! I can't have them saying I sleep with my mouth open and now you, and continue to deny it! Well I definitely appreciate that you still love me despite me sleeping with my mouth open, drooling everywhere! =D