Catching Up - Exploring the Neighborhood @ Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sometimes we do so much that we forget to mention it in the weekly posts! So occasionally we'll have these catch up posts. Flash back to that one time we went for a walk in the park areas... where I had an allergic reaction.

There's a trial near the house that goes under the bridge. We went right as it looked more interesting, left takes us across the lawn. There were a few info pop-ups along the way telling us about a railway that used to be nearby and designed for club members.

One suburb, so many styles. The top house is an hospital of some sort, or a recovery house. While it looks nice I'd imagine the inside to be very white with floorboards, creaky and cold. The bottom left house had a huge front lawn! So open and basic in design I haven't seen anything like this before. House on the right had an inner city feel, St Kilda East. Compact living but still with all the designs including Gothic influences and stained glass windows.

This garden was very unique, there were a few things going on. Can you see the meerkat? There were benches on the outside, where the fence ought to be too. We had to run after this so didn't get all the details.

We walked to the libaray near the junction. Open usually 9-5pm most days it has taken us this long to get here. I wished they were open at night. Instead of borrowing info books I like to scan them and read them later.

A while back the Pancake Parlour introduced their pancake pizzas! It's a pancake the size of a pizza to be shared for at least four people, priced at $30. We requested extra sprinkles.

Priceline had a skincare sale, but thanks to Sukin and prior sales we're set for sometime, so instead invested in more sunscreen and lip balm. You can never have enough lip balm, Burt's Bees is my all time favourite but it doesn't have SPF.

We love big boxes in the mail! I rarely ever get mail these days as they're all redirected home for safekeeping from curious neighbours. Parcels tied up with ribbon are my favourite! 

Brazen Brownies, they were good but fairly average, nothing amazing, though on the same week I also received the best brownies ever, fudgey and so delicious! From Ed Dixon. I shared them with jas who loved them too, and we added it to our awesome wedding food list.   

We made 'Flourless Orange Cake'! Needs more orange than suggested in the recipe though, and it's not too sweet *sad face* but it's well balanced paired with the cream cheese. It's quite easy, like an cake once you get the basics. The oranges need to be boiled for 2hrs the night before, best to do a few to save for other occasions. It was most fascinating as I've never boiled oranges before or pureed the entire thing.  

We also attempted 'Three Milks Cake', a delicious dessert we share at a Mexican restaurant where the accountant meet the lawyer. Alas it was nothing like that cake, it was an American poke cake. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a sponge cake, then you poke holes and pour a syrup or filling into it, and let it soak in. Serve topped with cream, as part of it might go a bit dry.

What have you been up to lately?

Thifty New York @ Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saturday 6th August

Tonight we had a trip to Monash for a concert, and an unwanted invitation to the after party, as we got on the party bus then party train. Boobs and booze. Oh how I wish I was young enough not to feel the weather! But wait, I'm around the same age as them. I just don't have the same interests. We celebrate occasions with a trip to the theatre/concert/opera or full on themed party (e.g. Edwardian, Emerald City, Wiggles, OUAT) rather than drinks. One girl wore a strip on fabric to keep herself from getting an indecent exposure fine, a bikini top is less revealing. And they were at least G sized. Young people these days... And they were off to the clubs in the city, already partially drunk. Mother says most of society's problems would be solved if we all had to go to church on Sunday morning, that might be partly true. 


We're been out sick lately, so the highlight of the past five or so days would be dancing. It was busy, crowded and people we missed we back! Not everyone, but some. 

One of the girls has a dog, who I try to touch almost weekly, but he's like no. Tonight I realized he is scared of me. But unlike the others he doesn't bark, he actively moves back when I try to pat him and I'm on the ground and not looming over him.

I may have muttered "I will touch you and you'll like" :). Morman heard me and said "Please don't my wife won't like it and neither will I". XD He wasn't laughing, and I wasn't talking to him or looking in his direction. XD So we've established the dog likes to be patted, just not by me. *sad that the dog doesn't like me*


It might only be winter outside, spring in the shops but summer is near and so are the launches of summer festivals. 

Last week was the launch of Melbourne Festival, this week it's Fringe Festival, where you could totally see three shows a night. But knowing that if it sucks you're still stuck there, in a bad show. Fortunately that's rare. 

Drink and speeches followed by the release of the program. Oh and a light show, because that's the theme this year. We met people who were lovely and one guy who wasn't. Advantage of no longer being a teacher is you don't have to deal with parents who are worse than their kids. 

On the way back we met a nice guy, friendly, holds intelligent conversation, and a teacher (of sorts). Run for your life!! Three compliments within minutes followed by going up to me at the tram to say it was nice to meet me, and I'm very nice. I thought we had parted at the coffee shop? :P The only reason I didn't invite a future conversation was purely based on age. 

I'm interested in hearing more about his thesis on the perception of time, but what if he thinks I'm into more than networking? Or what if vice versa. I have no problems meeting people as an events planner, do I do have difficulties connecting. Consulted three friends, the guys say he's defs into me. Nice guy too, which is rare. Guys who into me and usually grandpas or drunk jerks.

But really how does one meet new people and yet still deal with stranger danger?


Still recovering from being very sick last week an afternoon nap was required and hence we had to move shopping for inspiration to Saturday, and hence ballet to Sunday. 

Thursday is event night! And tonight we attended a sold out show of 'Frank – A Life in Song' a tribute show. We were also the only young people there, everyone else was a grandparent!

It was pretty amazing! We used to dance to Sinatra, with le beau. Though moon river wasn't on the playlist tonight, it was still a magical experience! Ending with the Theme from New York New York.

The accent was strange, jas says it's like the aftertaste of food, but with singing. XD As in between songs when Tom spoke he had an accent (American but strange) but it kinda faded out and he was revealed to be Australian at the end! I think with accents if you choose to go one you need to carry it all the way through till you change characters. It's not the first time its happened this week, the "German" duo also didn't carry through. 


In our small town, which composes of either cheap, chain or expensive restaurants there are a few lunch spots we'd like to try out, all under $15. And I'm hoping to write a guide to 5 lunch spots under $10. We're looking at moving houses soon and so we have limited time! 

Curry Camp - They do a $7.50 lunch, only on Thurdays & Fridays though. We had takeaway dinner, as I have a mini rice cooker and was excited to use it. $16 for the butter chicken, naan and pistachio ice cream.


Shopping, for inspiration. Found none. But I can say that there were more pictures taken than purchases. We started at Chapel St x High St and walked to Windsor Station.

Our conclusion...

  • Prahran Mission - There's a certain day of the last week of the month where all the clothes are 50% off. They also have a student day where you can get x% off. TBC.
  • Red Cross/Salvos is the most $$ of Op shops. But each week they have an offer where say all the purple tagged items are 50% off.
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence (149 Chapel St) - Either the sign is small or its moved as we didn't see this one.
  • Storehouse Charity Inc - Smaller than the others, plenty of books ($4) and dvds. Also cds. Located opposite...
  • Sacred Heart Mission - So much cheap furniture! It goes pretty fast though. They also have clothes and lots of books, around $4. 
  • MECWA - Books, not much though. Worth checking out if you're just after books. Also a few shops down is a HUGE bookshop! I found it uncategorized and overwhelming, but the lady at the counter know where everything is. Alas there was nothing by Phillips Georgory. 

The back room in the book shop near Mecwa.

Some books have tiny tiny print! We came across a couple intriguing books, that were too small to read. Also I swear 'The Nanny Returns' is the most donated book, because I've seen it everywhere! Mrs Beeton sounds familiar.

Storehouse Charity

Mary Poppins I'm interested in, but it was too heavy for today. Another day yes. Sad thogh, I'm running out of space! I suppose that's why ebooks are great, but it's really not the same. Back home I have my own library.

That tie is the perfect time of the week, as the Olympics is on. Oh those shoes, aren't they lovely? They remind me of Zelena the Wicked Witch of Oz.

Creative and cheap deco using gold paint. I'd buy that book in etiquette except I already have another edition of the very same book, and it's quite thick too!

Sacred Heart - There were a bunch of new dance shirts for $10. The only reason we didn't buy it was because, see the white dress? The bottom of it wasn't sewed on and fray potential. In hind sight we should have bought it. Instead we bought a book, limited room means hard decisions. I'm not sure if I have that Harry Potter book...

Our Picks: A Wiggles VCR (?) no I'm not sure how we're going to see that... a book as a gift, wrapped, and The Help! I've seen the movie and the book has been on the list for a while. Glass cups, for headpieces, to be used as... fish bowls?? The rubbers are collectibles and from the Reject Shop.

At the theatre we saw "Periscope Productions presents The Apocalypse Bear Trilogy". Student theatre. Sometimes has us asking why? Other than to show that your actors can play animal roles

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child @ Sunday, August 28, 2016

We were ever so excited about anything Harry Potter being released though "The Cursed Child" was disappointing. While there were midnight launches back home here in our small town the release was to be at 9am, and the book $35. Living in isolation there wasn't really that hype that usually builds up, instead everyone was still talking about Pokemon Go. But they weren't missing much it was really just... 

Fanfiction where Bellatrix x Voldy got together and made a baby, who's not out to seek vengeance to those who killed them, but to meet and be with him. She also gives up easily, and is a bit of a 2D character. Also most villains don't write their secrets on the wall, if they want fame and glory (in their minds) they made a recording and get the media to share it. 

Ron is the handbag holding husband in the background, while the main characters are Team Alfoy, Albus Severus Potter & Scorpius Malfoy. Malfoy never got his happy ending, enough though his family (headed by his mother) quit Team Voldy before the final battle. All his power was dependent on his father really. 

While the sets are Hogwarts the boys never make it there for their 4th year opting to go on a mission #savecedric before he turns into a vampire. They are at Hogwarts but in a different year, Harry's 4th year featuring 'The Goblet of Fire'. Albus is the leader, though Malfoy has to take charge when Albus ceases to exist. This is in Voldy's world, where Malfoy is head boy and doing well, but instead of choosing to stay he chooses to make things right. He was never tempted by the dark side, for there was nothing there for him.  

Prepare for time travel, lots of it, you'll need to construct a timeline to understand it, or have the 4th book fresh in mind. Snape is back, but so is Umbridge, in an alternative relativity that takes on the question "What if Dumbledore's Army had lost the battle of Hogwarts?".

The end, with the adventure wrapped up felt like a dream. Almost like in stories where the characters wake up at the end. That or it felt like so as I finished the script in just hours.

What did you think of the script?

Hao Phong - Flies in the Kitchen @ Friday, August 26, 2016

Prologue - I see and smell all. And so if my career were to fail I have a backup plan to become a food safety inspector, a role I shall take very seriously with my white cotton gloves and a magi-fine glass in hand.

Tuesday 2nd August

After being cyber attacked after our last adventure out west I don't think we'll be venturing into that part of town for a while. So we stuck to the main streets and cravings for spring rolls were fulfilled.

Dinner this week was at Hao Phong, on the main street. Almost full at 7.30pm, only two tables left. Bookings for groups, couples and a few singles. Service we observed varies, do you speak their language? Yes I do! Only enough to order though :P

Note to self - You never need a three course meal on your own, only get a main and maybe drink. Also my rule on drinks is only to order if there's something unique e.g. three color drinks, horchata and mango lassi.

Spring Rolls (Prawns/Veg) $8

Starting off we had spring rolls, best shared. Whoops. Prawn cigars and vegetarian. Wrapped in lettuce with thai basil and mint. Could we get sour carrot I love too?

My biggest concern with eating Chinese/Vietnamese food (actually any restaurant not ran by the majority) is hygiene. Not lack of atmosphere. There are places where you can pay twice as much for that.

There was a leg in the fish sauce!!! Don't tell me it's a herb! I see a joint and two hairy parts of a fly's leg. You could say my appetite plummeted after that. Did I mention I had some of the sauce BEFORE I saw the leg?

If this is the leg, then where is the rest of the fly?!!

Udon-ish Noddles with Seafood $12

Seafood banh canh for mains, seafood mix from the supermarket, fish cake/balls noodles, big white ones, carrot and broccoli topped with spring onion and caramelized onions.

I've never had noodles like this, and so would describe them as udon-ish but wiki says... "Bánh canh (literally "soup cake") is a thick Vietnamese noodle that can be made from tapioca flour or a mixture of rice and tapioca flour."

The broth was good, not too salty and perfect for winter. The carrots and brocolli were weird though, westernized says jas. More than 75% of the diners were white. Ontop of looking out of place they were raw... in a cooked dish I'd expected them to be cooked.

The serving size was very generous, you could serve it between two.

Banana Rice & Ice Cream $5

Banana rice and basic vanilla ice cream for dessert, no points for presentation. A red banana encased in sticky rice, on the very small side.

Cheap generous mains, the spring rolls were good too, we liked the vegetarian ones. Skip dessert. Why aren't there many Vietnamese  desserts? I've seen the sweet dessert soups in bakeries and asian grocery shops, but not restaurants?

Service was good, though of course varies on who you get. Also not all of them speak English.

Will we be back? No because of the fly's leg in my sauce!

On the way to the station we saw a bus full of asian tourists pilling into the bbq restaurant. Secret hotel? Because they bought ALL their luggage with them. And there were a lot of them. Both people and luggage.

I came across this "Salmonella scare: Footscray's Hao Phong restaurant shut down (Jan 2014)" I probably include in my research along with reviews is if that place has had any health/hygiene issues.

Hao Phong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Scandalous Lady W (2015) @ Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A movie length episode, that was a bit empty on plot hence felt like an episode, a filler ep.

Man sues wife. 
Wife tells the court what he's into. 
Both are humiliated (it was the 1780s).
Wife wins. 

What did you think about happen? XD
He lost the case, she loses everyone, but gets part of her money and a new life. 

But it's the costumes that we're really into and that hair!

The Scandalous Lady W. Lord W likes to watch his wife with other guys, while touching himself. She's not cool with it but does it anyway as their vows were to love, cherish and obey (for her). She falls for the last one and they run off. Husband sues lover, a lot of money, claiming damage to his property aka the wife. Though she counterclaims that she wasn't worth that much, though their bedroom adventures. He gets a shilling (2015: £5.54) while he claimed  £20,000 (2015: £2,220,000). 

Her lover leaves her "My love for you has declined" much like your credit card XD. Husband claims the baby (even though it's not his). Lady travels aboard and starts a new life in France. 

A detective indeed! It's Young Endeavour Morse!

Those cuffs, the brocade, and ruffles!

Feathers! We do love big hats and feathers!

Anne Boelyn (BBC Tudors) x King Richard III (The White Queen). He'd be related to her through marriage. As her husband Henry 8th's wife Eliz. of York came from Eliz. Woodville x Edward 5th, and Richard 3rd was his brother. Henry's great uncle on his mother's side I think that makes him. I do love finding all these actor x character relationships! 

We're here for Natalie Dormer, though compared to Anne Boelyn Lady W has no depth at all. The movie lacked depth, are was an easy watch. An easy watch means you don't need full attention to watch it. The costumes were nice, oh those hats with the feathers! Though there wasn't anything fancy. If it's costumes of the same period you're after check out Marie Antoinette with Kristen Dusten. 

Red always looks lovely. Though in design this is less authentic of the era.

"I belong to no man. And while it is my misfortune to live in an age of men, I will never belong to any man ever again."

Do you like costume dramas? Any films to recommend?

Om Vegetarian - $6.50 All You Can Eat @ Monday, August 22, 2016

Thursday 28th July

Dinner at Om Vegetarian, that cheap all-you-can-eat $6.50 vegetarian place, did you know there's four locations?! Oh My! They are popular! A very popular cheap eat that we've never gotten around to till now. During the day there's always a guy with a sign advertising the place.

The Menu

Small but featuring the classics.

Seating is designed for a quick eat, rather than for a three course meal. 
Basic food court style, seats direct from Ikea, with tags.

For $10 we had the combo meal which includes all the you can eat deal, with a samosa and drink (mango lassi or soda). The basic is $6.50.

Vegan Samosa - Spiced potato and peas filling stuffed in a triangular shaped pastry, fried until golden brown and crispy. Fairly average.

The mango lassi was usually sweet and once again quite watery, unlike other places. But sometimes you'll get what you paid for. 

The tray consisted of seasonal vegetable curry and lentil curry of the day served with Basmati rice with cumin and peas and freshly baked buttered naan bread from the tandoori oven.

What was it really? Lentil curry, veggie curry, rice & naan bread. I did find them a bit watered down with only a few pieces of potatoes and teaspoon or so of those green beans. In terms of flavour they were a bit on the bland side. There was something strange about the naan that was less fluffy-if can be described as so, leaning towards sour dough. 

Service was minimal though adequate, a guy went around with more naan and you can get the curry refill at the front counter if you ask. We found one serving enough though. It was too watery and bland for my tastes.

The crowd consisted of backpackers, students, Indians and a couple suits. 

Good for a quick, no frills very cheap eat, though not to my taste buds, as it was bland. I'm glad i tried it though and can tick it off the list. Jas didn't join us tonight as he said the place is too hippy, yes they did play Indian meditation music in the background.

Have you been to Om? Are you a fan of Crossways and similar places?

Om Vegetarian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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