And here are some of my paper-based projects lately.

I started a new recipe book, reserved for my all-time favourite recipes. Things we cook all the time. I’m not that good at lettering yet, mostly I just find cool fonts online and then copy them. These are a few of my favourite pages. I’m hoping this book is something that we will keep for a long long time.

Adult colouring. Broke out my set of Prismacolors that my mom bought for me in high school. They’re still good! This colouring page was photocopied out of the book* I gave Rosemarie for Christmas. It is insanely intricate so you’d better have a pencil sharpener handy! I found it very relaxing.

*Not an affiliate link. I don’t know how to do that.

OK wow, I knew I had been procrastinating doing another Crafty WIP post, but I didn’t realize I’d left it TWO YEARS! Holy moly. I have a lot to show off, so I’ll have to do two posts! Here are some crossstitches I finished over the last couple years.

Papa and me in Fiji. My first photo pattern. I used My Photo Stitch to make a pattern out of a picture. I was so skeptical it was going to look ok because it was asking for like green and purple to stitch our faces, but it does!

The back was a little crazy.

The cloth is filthy and warped so not quite sure how I should display it yet.

Quick little Nintendo controller. I added the letters and the arrows to the pattern myself.

My spirit animal/life motto? Not sure what to do with this one as I didn’t leave enough extra room at the top. I might cut it out if I can figure out how to keep the cloth from unravelling, and then sew it onto something like a patch?

This one was fun to stitch. So cute. I do <3 Canada.

This was a huge project from last year. It’s a Frosted Pumpkin pattern, but I switched all the months around to fit the Southern Hemisphere (particularly Melbourne) because at that point I knew we were moving. I actually purposely didn’t show it to people in case they figured it out before I’d told work. Perhaps I was a little paranoid, haha.

Now I just have to get around to ironing and framing all of them!

My next crossstitch projects are either going to be a 22 page black and white Escher pattern that will probably take 80 years to finish, and/or experimenting with crossstitching on clothing using waste canvas.

Apparently Scott is not sick of papaya salad, because last weekend he spent $8 on a green (unripe) papaya. We used it to make a buttload of papaya salad, with basa filet mixed in. It was incredible.

It was easy to shred the papaya with our Thai vegetable shredder thingy. And I used our pressure cooker to perfectly cook the fish and green beans in 4 minutes.

I didn’t really have a recipe, I just mixed shredded green papaya, bean shoots, steamed green beans, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, and the basa filets, plus a sauce made from lots of fish sauce and lime juice, and a bit of brown sugar, chili flakes, sesame oil and salt. It was great.

I made mango shakes to go with our papaya salad, to complete the holiday experience. Frozen mango cubes, mango juice, ice cubes, simple syrup and water blended up until it’s silky smooth. So good.

A 15 year old Melbourne kid named Morgan spends all his free time making doughnuts. School is out this week so he had a pop-up shop all week in Windsor, near where we live. I’d heard about him from a bunch of different sources so I went to check it out this morning.

I forgot my phone in the car so I couldn’t take a picture of the exact descriptions, but clockwise from the top: Cookies & Cream with custard syringe, Cinnamon Nutella, Lollies with strawberry filling, and Vanilla Chocolate Glaze with raspberry syringe.

The doughnuts are soft and fluffy, not oily at all. I liked that the glazes are made of chocolate. And the fillings are generous, there must have been a few tbsp of Nutella in the cinnamon one!! My favourite was the Cookies & Cream.

Bistro Morgan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last month I went to Sydney for a weekend for Rae’s hens party.

A brief timeline of our friendship: Became friends in Beijing in 2008. Visited each other lots of times in Sydney/Melbourne in 2009 and 2010. Last saw her the day we left Australia to move to Canada, at the Sydney airport on our stopover, in 2010.

So it was awesome to see her again and catch up after so long! The first night we stayed up way too late just chatting and laughing.

The next day was Rae’s hens party. It was Great Gatsby themed. We had food and drinks at a restaurant, played lots of games, and then went to a club afterwards. Her friends were really nice. It was fun!

She just got married last week in Germany. <3

The next day we got ramen for lunch at Ryo’s. She said that people come from all over the place to go to this particular ramen restaurant. Then we got there and a man came out and said that they were closing early because they had such a busy morning. But Rae told him that I had come all the way from Melbourne and I was leaving that night (lies! haha) and asked him to PLEASE let us eat! And it actually worked!

I had pork soy sauce ramen with egg and vegetables, and Rae had chicken ramen. My broth was rich and tasty and the pork was super tender and fatty (in a good way). The egg was great, and the noodles nice and chewy. A very good bowl of ramen.

Ryo's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After lunch we went on a long walk. We walked through Wendy’s Secret Garden, down by Luna Park, Milson’s Point, the place where Rae and Thomas got engaged, and back to her house. It was a beautiful day. Sydney is really pretty.

Then that night Thomas came back from his weekend away and we all had dinner together at home.

Monday I went to the zoo by myself. I had never been before. What a great location! I especially liked the gorillas.

Then Jessie picked me up after finishing work and we went to get Ava from daycare and hang out for a bit before my flight home. Ava likes to drag chairs around and eat cheese.

It’s too bad that Halloween isn’t really a thing here because I think Ava would make the cutest Eleven ever. All she needs is a pink dress, some Eggo’s, and a little facepaint nosebleed. :D

Thanks for a great weekend ladies!

This week started off kind of bad, but it got better, thank goodness.

I was feeling really sad and lonely. It’s hard being away from Rosemarie and the rest of my family and friends. And most of my old friends from Melbourne don’t live here any more. So… time to make some new friends, which is hard as a generally awkward and introverted person. Finally I decided to stop being a baby and follow Leslie’s tips about making friends in a new city.

So now I am a yes person.

I already met some nice people at an internet meetup the other night. And I stopped wearing my headphones at the gym. I think I’ll try and join some kind of board game group? Or maybe take some lessons in something. I dunno.

The other thing that got better this week is that SCOTT GOT A JOB!!! Woohoo!!! Things were getting a bit stressful in that department! He got the call on Tuesday for an interview A FEW HOURS LATER. And then that night they asked for him to come back the next day for a second interview. And then he STARTED the next day! SO FAST. It’s only a 3 month contract for now but at least he got something.

So now I have the house to myself to concentrate on my Netflix studying.

Scott is feeling much better these days. He is able to eat bad things without pain but he’s still not drinking alcohol and keeping the healthy diet except for Sundays. So that means I have to drink our trivia prize pitchers by myself, haha.

Weightlifting is going well. It’s so good to get back to it after six months off. I’m weaker, obviously, but I don’t get as sore… so I think there is still some memory in the muscle. Excited to get strong.

I did a little re-design of the ol’ blog. It should look a bit better on mobile devices now. If you are on a phone or tablet you can find the sidebar with the search, Twitter feed, links and stuff if you click on the little gear icon on the top left.