Why my relationship works…

I took a bit of a break because I just needed to clear some space in my head. We’re about to make quite a big decision, a sad one at that too, so I just haven’t really felt in the mood to blog. But I’m back now!

Phew, what a busy last couple of days – and rainy ones too! We have just had downpour after downpour, and I have absolutely LOVED every moment of it. I had to run errands on Friday and every time I was about to get out of the car, the rain would start pouring down (and it even hailed on us) so there was a bit of sitting around in the car waiting for the rain to subside. Even though I tried, Jacob still managed to get himself wet (lots of jumping in muddy puddles).

But nothing beats a rainy day than a warm snuggle in our bed! This is the scene in my bed at 6.30am a  few mornings ago – love these two but no space in bed for me, sigh!

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Today I’m meant to talk about what makes my relationship work. Of course, there are lots of deep underlying reasons, but here are just a few fun ones…

  1. We love the same genre of movies and TV series. Okay, so this isn’t the most important thing but it certainly makes things easier on movie nights. Plus, we both enjoy a nice hot chocolate and cookies while lounging on the sofa together.
  2. We complement each other – I am the dreamer and he is the realist. I am the impulsive one and he’s the one who will tell me all the pros and cons before I jump into something I’m over my head in.
  3. We love travelling together. We’ve been to a number of places together and we’re keen to keep exploring the world together (except now we’ll have to lug two boys along with us too!).

  4. We have the same sense of humour – a bit left wing and sometimes a little politically incorrect but we share it in close quarters. We send each other funny pics or videos on Facebook sometimes!
  5. We love being together but also don’t mind if we each get a bit of “me time” – like sometimes he’ll play basketball or play PS4 with his friends, and sometimes I get my girls nights out. It’s all about balance!
  6. We love eating together. Hubby and I are both adventurous eaters which is so much fun – back in the day, we used to go out for all sorts of cuisines (though now we mostly eat at home or have takeaway due to child constraints)

  7. We profess the same faith and go to church together. I think it really helps us in other big life decisions because our faith also defines underlying values that we live by as well.
  8. We appreciate each other. Maybe I don’t tell him enough, but he does so much for me – from the little things like serving me when I’m feeding Jared or cleaning up after I cook in the kitchen (as I make an awful mess). And for always fixing my tech issues and for getting all my favourite shows. And I always feel appreciated by him for all the stuff I do at home with the kids, cooking meals, etc.
  9. We make beautiful children (and love them to bits!). I know people say that having kids can take its toll on your relationship, but I feel that our kids bring us together as well and we end up making more amazing memories together.

What makes your relationship tick?

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It’s Business Time…

Eeeks has it been nearly a week since I’ve written a blog post? Yikes!! Sorry, I didn’t mean to leave it for this long. I am NOT going to use being busy as an excuse (since I did an entire blog post about it before this) but, really, that’s probably it. But really, I have like a hundred things to edit tonight and I don’t see myself going to sleep before midnight (and I have a playdate tomorrow so can’t do it tomorrow), hence I better get cracking.

I’m going to make this a bit of a photo post, if you don’t mind! Hope you enjoy these little snippets of my life (and my gorgeous boy).

I’ll start with food because I love food. When is a burger not a burger? When it’s a Not Burger! I made a massive burger the other day with not one but two vegetarian patties and a colossal amount of condiments incuding avocado, mushrooms and a fried egg!

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Over the weekend, we met up with family again at church which makes the perfect opportunity for more photos! Group shots are a bit hard as it is SO hard to keep them all still. This was probably one of our best ones:

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My nephew (who is about 4 months younger than Jacob) is growing so quickly! They practically look the same size now – how gorgeous are they? I think they’re going to have so much fun playing together!

ImageOne of Jacob’s latest fascinations is the washing machine. He can sit for ages watching the clothes spin around, and loves to reach up to touch the dials. When he can actually reach the dials, I’ll just get him to do the laundry for me. 

ImageFinally, the favourite of the week – my little duet partner. I can’t believe he can already reach the piano!

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On a final note, I’ve reached another milestone in my life – no, I have not been skydiving this week. Guess what? I am now a business owner!!! Well, almost…

More details about my new business in my next post (or perhaps a few posts to come, depending on how long I need to set it up properly), but I’m REALLY excited. Like I literally had butterflies in my tummy and was dying to work on the website and do a stocktake, but then all this editing work came about (and I couldn’t say no!). 

Anyway, just a hint – it has something to do with two of my previous blog posts:
Wall Sticker Woes
Pac Man

Have a great week!! And I promise I will write again before the weekend, even if it’s just a few words!

Food Glorious Food (and Date Night…)

Today we ate out for both lunch and dinner – a privilege I don’t usually have! We had a day trip to Hahndorf with my parents and then, Dan and I had a quick dinner out, just to ourselves!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Hahndorf, it’s a little German town about half an hour out of Adelaide city. It’s a touristy little place, with lots of local products, German souvenirs and a variety of food. I also took notice of the fact that they have a few Spa motels, which seem really quite tempting. Maybe on our next special occasion…

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I didn’t take many pictures on the street because I was pushing Jacob around in his pram (he was asleep the whole time), but I did take pictures at lunch. We had a pub lunch at the German Arms Hotel, which was nice – I had a nice fat chicken schnitzel and Jacob stole some of my veggies off my plate. He also put his hand into my dad’s beer but escaped with just a froth wound. 🙂

ImageJacob was quite intrigued (and maybe a bit scared) of the many statues of German men. In terms of heritage, he’s part German and I want to make sure he identifies with that. I’m tempted to make him learn the accordion – what a sight it would be! But really, I want him to identify with the German language and perhaps go for a ‘home visit’ to good ol’ Germany.

Anyway, back from one part of the hills and off to another! Dan took me out to dinner at the Inglewood Inn, which is only 20 minutes away from where we live. What a gorgeous view we had from where we were sitting:

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We drive out through this part of the hills every week to get to our church out in Birdwood, and I really love changing backdrop. Right now, the grass is green and the trees are painted with hues of green, red and gold. Soon, they will be bare and the brooks will run fast with the winter rains. Then come the blossoms of spring, followed by the tan colours of summer. I’m so glad to live near the countryside.

But anyway, on to the food…

ImageI didn’t feel like meat so I ordered gnocchi with pumpkin and pinenuts, which was delicious but got a bit boring after a while. Beef pieces would have been quite nice with it… I don’t think I’d make a good vegetarian. And, of course, how could we miss dessert?

ImageJust a simple pecan pie with ice cream and berry coulis. Yum! 🙂 Overall a great experience. The Inglewood Inn is a really lovely place to eat – we’ve had breakfast there too, and that was delicious. They also have a function room overlooking a lovely garden area – perfect for a garden wedding! I almost convinced Daniel to marry me again there – he’s pondering it here, haha.

ImageBut really, date night ended in tears – not for us, but for Jacob. We came home to find him crying his heart out – apparently he was fine until they tried to sit him down for dinner. We are struggling a bit with him and his eating – he doesn’t like the high chair, doesn’t like being spoonfed, doesn’t like to drink water, etc. But we will get there!

Anyway, my little sook got his way (i.e. breast and breast alone) and is happily asleep. Sigh. Anyway, this is my favourite photo of the week – little boys should love their books.

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Over and out!

Baby Shower Number 1

We have another shocker of a hot week so I’m going to stay in as much as possible, and if I have errands, will run them as early as possible. Thank goodness that it wasn’t so hot on the day of baby shower number one! 🙂 My friend is due in early March and she’s having a baby boy!

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She had the party out in the yard and it was a beach-themed party. There was soooo much delicious food! I love the idea of the wishing tree (why didn’t I think of that at my shower?) – people just write a wish on a leaf and stick it on. I also made the little umbrella cups in the picture – I got the idea off the net and it was supposed to look like the picture below, but the cream melted and the babies sank into the ‘sand’. Oh well!

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I ordered some cupcakes from a friend of mine and they did not disappoint. There was a little girl there who was fascinated by the dummy on the cupcake baby’s mouth and ate it right off! There was so much food that the men (who had gone off to play golf) came back after to help us finish it up!

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Game time! Her sister-in-law organised three games while I organised the two games below (and had a third one on standby, but it was getting late). I especially enjoyed the Bottle drinking race between the three pregnant ladies – one would not imagine how hard it is to drink from a baby bottle (the teat is soooo tiny!).

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My friend is really creative, hence a lot of the things at her baby shower are handmade! She made a lot of the decorations by herself and even made some gorgeous little booties for her bombonieres with yummy Hershey’s chocolate (I LOVE HERSHEY’S, especially the Cookies and Cream one).

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Finally, what was Jacob doing? He was there with the ladies socialising, as usual! He was a good boy and went down for an afternoon sleep so I could have something to eat. Thanks everyone for taking turns to take care of him! 🙂 Here he is in a bit of a standoff with the dog (which is about the same size as him, haha!). 

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It was a really lovely day and it was awesome to have a public holiday the next day to recover from it (for those who are working anyway). Today it’s back to school for Dan (and also all the students) – hope everyone has a lovely day!

More (mouthwatering) Melbourne…

I was meaning to write earlier but was caught up in doing a few huge loads of laundry from our trip. I can’t believe how many clothes we used (plus, of course, there were clothes we bought too). A lot of it was linen/hand towels because Jacob is in a highly dribbly phase and he dribbled through all the bibs I brought along as well.

Anyway, enough of this housework talk and more about Melbourne!

One highlight of our trip was going to the James Bond exhibition there – we took a leisurely walk to the Museum through the Carlton Gardens – lovely sunny day too!

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I have to admit that I didn’t know too much about James Bond before, so I watched a few of the movies before coming to this exhibition (and I’m so glad I did)! I particularly liked looking at the different outfits Bond and his ladies wore in the different movies, as well as the different gadgets invented by Q. And finally, we got to see some cool vehicles including the Aston Martin. Jacob’s crying because I told him we can’t keep the car…

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Melbourne is an awesome place for food too! Here are my top 7 favourite eating spots in Melbourne (in no particular order):

1. Grill’d

Dan was actually craving the burgers here, particularly the mushroom burger which is just a massive mushroom instead of a patty, with delicious aioli and other yummy stuff. There are some awesome burger bars in Melbourne in general, but if in doubt, I don’t think you can go wrong with Grill’d.

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2. Pancake Parlour

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I’m a sucker for pancakes, but this has to be my favourite pancake place! We have a similar joint in Adelaide that pales in comparison. I love their chocolate pancakes and their drinks are the BOMB too (e.g. Salted Caramel milkshake). I usually go to the one on Melbourne Central on the top floor, as it’s next to Grill’d (it’s like a combination of awesome)! Jacob kept turning the pages on the menu and I’m sure he’d have loved to order something!

3. Affogatto (or anywhere on Hardware Lane, for that matter)

I mentioned this in my last post – this is one of my favourite brekky places! They have a healthy yet hearty spread and is just a lovely place to get breakfast. There’s also a nice French crepe place across the street from it, though I haven’t tried it for ages. Hardware Lane is actually a famous restaurant lane in Melbourne and no matter what time you go, there’ll always be something yummy there.

4. 1000 £ Bend

I used to live on Little Lonsdale St and remembered this interesting place. It’s a hipster type cafe but is also sometimes used as a gallery and events place. I have to admit that hipster places usually serve really interesting healthy dishes and they make awesome soy hot chocolate. Very green and delicious breakfasts (and we would have stayed for lunch after seeing the interesting stuff they had on the spread).

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5. Pappa Rich

Malaysian food in Melbourne is definitely better than what you can get in Adelaide, and I couldn’t resist having something to eat at Pappa Rich in QV. It’s a bit pricey but has a good spread of Malaysian food and great drinks. Love Milo Dinosaur (which is basically Iced Milo with a whole lot of milo on top!).

6. Tropicana Juice/Food Bar

I used to walk past this place every day to go to work, and their fresh juices/smoothies are the bomb! Lovely breakfasts too, and awesome shop decor that you just can’t miss!

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7. Lindt Chocolate Cafe

I had a huge headache and was really looking for a good iced chocolate on a hot day, and what better chocolate to have than Lindt? Okay, chocolate is not great for headaches but it was so delicious, and their macarons are to die for! Jacob’s trying to steal my iced chocolate but nope, not a chance!

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It’s funny that a lot of the places we went to weren’t actually Asian. The truth is I was looking forward to having some Asian food, but a lot of the places had steps in the front or were too crowded so we couldn’t get the pram in. In retrospect, I could have put Jacob in a high chair – I thought he wouldn’t have enough support but he seems happy enough, doesn’t he?

ImageHave a great week everyone! 🙂

Just a quick one before the weekend…

I had planned for today to be highly eventful day but time just slipped away from me. Possibly because I slept in til 9.00am… I know, complete luxury, right? Jacob slept all the way from 11.00pm to 5.00am, then had a feed and slept til 9.00am. Pure bliss – I have not known sleep like this for a long time!

Anyway, the reason why I was trying to busy myself was because it’s our church’s International Night this weekend. For some of us, this is a long-awaited event and we look forward to flaunting our culinary prowess. Okay, honestly I’m not a great cook but I make do.

This time round, I’m doing Malaysian food AND German food. This is going to be interesting because I’m baking a black forest cake with no oven! I’m also going to make my all time favourite honeydew sago – and I almost forgot to get the sago for it, silly me. This is going to be a fun weekend!

If any of you are in Adelaide and want to drop by, here’s the info:

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Today I was chopping vegetables and listening to Nickelback. I actually searched for “Lullaby” on Youtube and Nickelback’s song was one of the first hits. You should watch that video – it is so sad (but touching)! Nickelback is probably my favourite band because their lyrics are meaningful, their songs are catchy and man, is Chad Kroeger’s voice sexxay.

Songs nowadays have such unimaginative lyrics – half of them (if not more) talk about people dancing in a club, raising their hands and drinking themselves silly. Sure enough, some have catch tunes (or autotunes) but I like songs with some meaning beyond the emotional depth of a one night stand. Am I getting old?

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“Hmm, I don’t know mum… maybe you are getting old!” Sorry, I know the picture is blurry – I really can’t stand it when people put up blurry pictures but it’s so hard cos he moves so much!

Since it’s the Sabbath (took me THAT long to write this post, til the sun set), I’ll share one my favourite gospel singers – Nicole Nordeman. Her songs are powerful, lyrically and spiritually. Here’s one of my favourite ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waYUzxK8TYA

Til next time… The next post will be full of food pictures and possibly a Jacob video production – stay tuned!

A bit of an eating/shopping post!

I never imagined how much I’d enjoy a clean house! 🙂 An uncluttered house helps me keep an uncluttered mind… Dan and I had to clean up for a meeting at our place, and it’s spurred me on to try and get the other rooms clean as well. Let’s see how long this stint will last though!

I was crossing my fingers earlier in the week that the baby wouldn’t come before Wednesday, because we were planning to go out for dinner with friends. We went for some Mexican food and some of us topped it off with decadent chocolate desserts.

Firstly, I have to admit to you that I would be a terrible food blogger because I don’t take pictures of my food. I sometimes find it slightly embarrassing, especially in fine dining. Plus, my phone doesn’t do a great job of it (and I have shaky hands, so the photo is almost always blurry when I take it). And usually, I just want to eat! 🙂

But anyway, last night we went to Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant on Melbourne Street. Loved the decor but couldn’t say the same about the service. Perhaps I was expecting a bit more since they’ve won lots of awards. Fair enough, it’s hard to serve a table of 12, but despite putting the cover numbers on the table (which is not very classy, in my opinion), they still had to call out the names of the dishes and got the bill a bit mixed up in the end.

Simple hospitality solution: Allocate the table to just one waiter (to reduce confusion) and get that waiter to remember the cover numbers and be in charge of all the orders. Instead of writing cover numbers on the table (which didn’t work anyway), just have a system, such as the person with the back of their chair facing the bar being number 1, then going clockwise from that person.
When bringing out the food, bring them out by cover number or at least refer to the docket when serving. And I would have sorted out the bills out in advance since it was clear which people were couples, which were paying alone to avoid the confusion at the end.

If anyone wants to hire me to manage their restaurant, do drop me a line- haha! I have to admit that as crazy as it can be working in restaurants, I LOVE it! It’s fast-paced, diverse, confusing/chaotic at times, yet it’s all about giving people a personal and memorable experience (and of course, serving delicious food!) At least the food was pretty yummy – stole some pics off their website!

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Wednesdays are half price Nachos nights! If you ever go there, get the special nachos because the plain one only comes with cheese, spring onion and jalapenos!

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I have to admit my Bistec Ranchero was delicious! Finely marinated and really tender even though I asked for medium well. Daniel had Chilli Colorado which didn’t have any spice at all, and was relatively mediocre (but he was happy I gave him some of my steak).

Anyway, some of us decided to venture over to Chocolatree, which was one of our favourite chocolate joints back when we lived in North Adelaide. It was probably a bit decadent of me, but I decided to order a Nutty Waffle – looks like this except add nuts, take away the strawberries:

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It was delicious, though I think I would have fancied it better with dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. They do some awesome hot chocolates as well – dark mint hot chocolate is probably my favourite!

Anyway, this might be the last restaurant meal out for a while, so I just thought I’d make a big deal about it. 🙂 I’ll have to experiment with more dishes at home, and I do promise I’ll take a few pictures then!

Today I decided to do a bit of online shopping, for a few reasons:
– I had a gift card to use (I like to use them soon after I get them in case they get lost)
– The store had 15% off all stock today

Here are my purchases, which should come in the mail sometime next week:

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If you haven’t guessed which store this is, it’s Peter Alexander! 🙂 They do have some cute stuff, though I’m not really a pink, lacy, fluffy sorta person. I have to admit I love the concept of “one a day” things. I’ve bought Daniel Monday to Sunday undies, so I thought I should have some for myself too.

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I was looking around for PJs and nightgowns, but can’t justify buying one (especially since I just wear old T-shirts and stuff to bed). But then I found this awesome cosmetic bag – it was actually in the Men’s section but I just love it! Whenever we go on short holidays, I always struggle to find a nice bag for my toiletries (and I must admit, the last time I used a sandwich zip-lock bag!)

If you’re interested, their 15% off sale is only until midnight tonight (probably EST, so about 8 hours left!). Just want to say a big Thank You to the AIB staff (my previous workplace) for contributing to the gift card!

On a final note, I was speaking to some of my girlfriends about pelvic floor exercises and I just thought I’d share the importance of doing these exercises, even when not pregnant.

Exercising these muscles helps in the long run with controlling your bladder and your bowels. In pregnancy, these muscles undergo further stress due to hormonal changes, and from other pregnancy symptoms like constipation.

I was a bit lazy (and cocky too) initially, thinking I needn’t bother doing these exercises. But then, a few weeks ago, I caught a cold and I tell you, I suffered a few leakages every time I sneezed. I admit that I don’t do the exercises as often as I’m supposed to (I keep forgetting!), but doing some is probably better than doing none.

Even if you’re not pregnant, there are factors that could cause this muscle to grow week, such as being overweight, continuously lifting heavy things or simply growing older. And this also affects men too, hence it’s just as important that you guys work these muscles too!

I’ll just leave you with this handy link should you wish to learn more about it: http://www.thewomens.org.au/Pelvicfloorexercises

Have a lovely rest of the week! 🙂