Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday : Fancy a cuppa?

I'm thankful for the small things.

This is what's keeping me sane these days...

Life's been just a little bit hectic!

Wordless Wednesday happens here, here, here, here and here!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Another Weekend Gone By

Monday again... (whoops, so I started writing this on Monday but didn't quite get it finished!)

I feel like every week I seem to be repeating myself.  Colleagues will ask me how my weekend was, and every week my answer is the same "good, but not long enough!" ugh!

Friday night we headed out with a few friends to see the Butterfly Effect live.

What a fantastic gig! Unfortunately, the Effected tour is their final as a group as the singer is leaving to pursue other things. Mega sadface!

We were lucky enough to meet the group after the gig... top blokes!

I didn't have anything for them to sign, as they took the tickets from us at the door! Instead I rummaged around in my handbag and found the box from my Essendon radio.  Although not the usual fan merchandise that they're used to, they willingly obliged and signed the little cardboard box for me.  Glenn did flip the box over and realise, so we had a nice chat about his supercoach team!

Whilst I did that, Liam papped away and managed to capture a few blurry shots for me. 

We were one of the last people to meet them (I think you actually needed a VIP ticket to do that, but we managed to talk our way through security!) and had the chance to have a chat with Clint about his last shows with the band, and scored a hug as we said goodbye.

After the gig we headed to a bar near by...

...and consumed these shots as well as copious amounts of other various beverages.

These delightful little drinks were part of the reason I was feeling a little worse for wear on Saturday morning, and needed a hearty dose of this to remedy that!

As much as I would have liked to have spent the day lazing around the house feeling sorry for myself, this was not an option.  Instead I was awake bright and early with a day full of house inspections to attend.

We have come across the most GORGEOUS little property, and have both promptly fallen in love.  It's not perfect, and it is missing a few aspects which we had initially thought were important, but this place is absolutely stunning and we both agree that we can work around it.  Unfortunately, however, the property is in the higher ranges of the budget we had set, so we're just trying to work out whether we can sustain this long-term, reviewing all of our options, and trying our very best not to rush in with our hearts instead of our heads. 

Aaaaaanyway! Moving along now... we had dinner with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousins on Saturday night.  Liam prepared a yummy pub-style parma meal for us!

He had decided to attempt to make my favourite sweet potato fries in addition to his normal chips, but unfortunately didn't account for the difference in cooking time so ended up massively overcooking the sweet potato... which resulted in crispy potato chips with crumbly bits of crunchy sweet potato through it! Not how he had envisaged, but still very tasty!

My Aunt and Uncle are moving house this week, and have offered us their couch and this gorgeous step cabinet that we have loved ever since seeing it! On Sunday we went over to pick it up and help them pack a few things.

Adeline had other ideas though! Instead of helping pack, she demanded I come into her room and help her build a Playdoh village for the two Playdoh families which we created.  I do as I'm told!

We made green grass, a red sky, and a blue playground for them to play on.

You can't see them, but there are two families living in their little chimneyed houses.  There's the Blue family living in the house on the left, and their neighbours the Greens in the smaller house next door.  However the Greens have a (green) friend called Greece, who also lives with them!

Just between you and me, Baby Blue looks a little too green for my liking...

I think Mummy Blue and Daddy Green are having a little fun on the side!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Travel Diaries : Siem Reap Blast Off!

So where else to begin with my travel diaries than at the start? 

We arrived at Tullamarine airport, excited and full of anticipation for the trip ahead!

Of course, there were the usual routine and mundane things which needed to be taken care of before the fun could start!  We lined up for the check-in counter, and got our luggage checked on board without any issues.  We packed light for the trip there, so that we would have plenty of space leftover to shop our little hearts out while we were away!  Once that was over and done with, what else was left but to head to the airport pub for a celebratory pint?  That is Liam's tradition at every trip to the airport - a brewski at the Irish!  Mine is to grab a cheeseburger from good ol' Mac Ds.  Lucky the two are situated right next to each other.  How very convenient!

From there, we headed off for a browse in duty free.

Swarovski encrusted Bombay Sapphire gin, anyone? This bottle will only set you back a cool 4k.


From there, we headed through the departure gates.  Cue more routine and mundane necessities to get us through to the boarding gates.  The worst part about travel is all the checks you have to go through.  And the waiting time!

Waiting... waiting...

While waiting to board, we munched on this pricey yet surprisingly tasty curried chicken baguette.

It's an 8 hour flight from Melbourne to Malaysia, and we had approximately 4 hours stopover at KL airport before our connecting flight to Siem Reap.  My wonderful parents generously sacrificed their frequent flyer points to get us into the Malaysian Airlines Gold Lounge for the duration.

First things first, we're keen for a freshen up after the 8 hour flight.  We approach the showers, and a man behind the counter hands up a fresh white towel, with a little travel toothbrush/toothpaste and a little foldable hairbrush.  The showers are spacious, with a monsoon shower head in addition to the normal handheld.  Unfortunately, half way through my luxurious hot shower the water turns lukewarm so I scurry out feeling a little miffed, but a lot fresher!

We settle down on one of the many comfortable looking couches, before we explore what the lounge has to offer.  Soon enough, Liam discovers the best thing!

A self-service bar! 

There is a little section which has a full ice-bucket, slices of lemon, packets of peanuts, and also a fridge filled with any of the mixers you could hope for.  

Liam's first move is to mix himself up a gin & tonic.  Unfortunately, it is only 8am (or 6am local time!) and I can't quite stomach the thought of any alcohol just yet so I grab myself a grape soda from the fridge instead and focus my attention on the important part...

Self-service food!

There are baine maries filled with an array of hot food to choose from, different types of bread slices and rolls sitting next to a conveyor toaster, danishes and muffins, and stacks of clean white plates inviting you to help yourself.  

I start with nasi lemak.  Fluffy coconut rice, with an assortment of condiments to accompany it.  I choose a large spoonful of sambal, a few slices of crunchy fresh cucumber, half a boiled egg, peanuts, crispy fried ikan bilis, and although a little less traditional Malaysian, a couple of hash browns on the side.  

All washed down with a yummy chrysanthemum tea from the self-serve fridge! 

After food, this is how Cat passes time in the Gold Lounge while waiting for a flight.

Speaking of food...

We also gave the hot breakfast a crack, but unfortunately despite its appearance was mostly inedible.

Soon enough though, it was time to leave the lounge and head on another flight - Cambodia bound! 

Flying high, up in the clouds!

I remember on my brother's first ever flight, he was five years old and as the window shade slid open his eyes widened in absolute awe.  He sat in silence for a couple of moments, and then he slowly turned to face my mother as the following escaped his lips...

"Mum... are we in Heaven?  Am I dead?"

Instead of trying to explain the concept of flying, clouds and Heaven to a 5 year old child, mum opted to tell him that we were just visiting for a while.  She didn't have any answer to where God was hiding! 

I wonder if that has anything to do with why my little brother is such a strange individual.

Aaaaaaanyway! What would a flight be without the obligatory airplane food?

Selamat menjamu selera! Enjoy your meal! :)

We ate our meals, and watched our plane descend down through the clouds, exiting Heaven...

...and landed at Siem Reap airport!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday : Winners & Losers

I love football.

I especially love seeing a good result on the scoreboard.

Better luck next time!

Wordless Wednesday happens here, here, here, here and here!

Monday, May 21, 2012

NOTD Cambodia Style!

I just realised I still haven't done many updates about my last overseas trip! Will have to sort out my photos ASAP and share some snapshots!

Although I didn't have all that much time to spend on my nails while I was away, I just had to take a moment to capture this NOTD in Cambodia! OPI - The Color To Watch


The first photo was taken while roaming the grounds of Angkor Wat temple, right after witnessing a gorgeous sunrise.  Whilst visiting a stunning piece of architecture which was constructed more than 800 years ago, of course the first thing to do would be to take a NOTD photo, right?!

Hopefully more holiday posts soon to come! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Country Getaway

As part of Liam's birthday present, I decided to arrange a weekend escape to the country to spend a little bit of quality time together.  Just the two of us, and Rocket dog!

We finished up work early on Friday, and headed off to the country town of Trawool.

Upon arriving, we were shown to our cute little cottage.  The property is just off the main highway and is home to two gorgeous little guest cottages, as well as the owner's residence and a restaurant/cafe.

The two guest cottages are situated side by side, surrounded by lovely gardens and an sprawling open yard that is perfect for the dog! And not far away is the cafe where the owner's spend most of their time and are always available should you need anything. 

We let them know roughly what time we expected to arrive, so by the time we got there the fire was roaring and the cottage was so lovely, warm and cosy!

Rocket found his spot by the warmth of the fire!  Liam, the self-professed "Master of the Fire" made sure that the fire kept roaring all weekend long, keeping the cottage the perfect warm place to stay in the cold weather. 

By the time we ran into town for supplies and take away for dinner it was getting cold and dark so it was a perfect place to settle for the night.  We ordered some Indian takeaway in town, and spent the evening cuddled up on the couch watching a fantastic Hawthorn victory.

I managed to get a fantastic deal and as a result breakfast was included both mornings of our stay. 

Nothing like a nice pot of tea and a delicious hot cooked breakfast to start your day off right!  Liam ordered a full breakfast, whilst I opted for an omelette with mushrooms, bacon and cheese.  YUM

After breakfast, we decided to go for a quick wander into one of the near by towns. 

We had a little jacket for Rocket to wear so he didn't feel too cold in the back of the ute.  I feel that it emasculated him somewhat, but have to admit that he did look kind of cute! The above photo makes it look like he is wearing a cape, and for some reason reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.  All he needs is a hat and a pipe! Anybody else agree, or am I just insane?

Speaking of insane, Liam looks slightly loopy in this photo! Aww, my boys <3

Wandering through town, it was bitterly cold and windy so we decided to head back to our cottage.  Rocket must have had enough, and promptly crashed out!

We left him there and made our back back to the cafe, where we sat out on the balcony and  feasted on a lovely cheese platter, which was also included in our package! It was divine, and I would have happily paid oodles for it.  Totally worth it!  We enjoyed a lovely bottle of moscato to accompany the cheese and basked in the sunshine which would intermittently break through the clouds. 

What a perfect way to spend the afternoon!

Not content with just a perfect afternoon though, I was determined to make it a double, and follow it up with the perfect evening too!

The big West Coast vs Essendon game was on and we planned to stay in by the fire again to watch another fantastic victory.  This time I was feeling a little more adventurous than just take away and wanted to prepare some warming winter comfort food to enjoy whilst we watched the football. 

I set to work in the "kitchen" whilst Liam prepared some baked potatoes using the coals.

Et voila, here is our cottage feast!

Potatoes baked on the coals topped with garlic butter, tasty cheese, coleslaw and copious amounts of sour cream! Accompanied by pork pepper and mustard sausages with caramelized onions. YUM

I'm not sure you can get any more perfect!

A tasty meal,  the company of my wonderful man and our cheeky pup, cuddled by the fire in front of the TV watching a victorious game of football! I was a very happy camper.

Day two started out with another pot of tea with breakfast! This time I chose bacon and eggs for my meal and an English Breakfast tea, whilst also stealing sips of Liam's pot of chai. 

After breakfast, we went for a wander around the property :

I love that garden and chair set! It's looks like it's been thereforever, and the area around it has become mossy and overgrown, but that only seems to add to the charm.  We met this curious Alpaca who came bounding over to say hello, but was very wary of the dog.  So cute!  I marvelled in the gorgeous colours of the area.  The grass was just so lush and green, whilst the leaves on the trees had turned the most stunning array of earthy Autumn shades. 

Rocket was very patient with me as I set him to work as my little model...

Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and after a fabulous weekend away it was time to head home! :( As you can see, Rocket did not want to leave.

Here he is, staring sadly at the ute while we packed everything up ready to go.  I can't blame him though... I did not want to leave either! It was such a nice relaxing weekend away. 

Liam is now looking up land an property in the country, as he has always wanted to move out that way and away from the big smoke!  He is now determined that after purchasing a little house in the suburbs, the next step is to buy a piece of land in the country as a holiday destination/investment piece.  Ever since we got back, he's been trying his best to convince me and show me properties for sale to win me over!

Well... I think I can safely say that he enjoyed his birthday trip...

Perhaps a little too much!