Me and Italian weightlifting Giulia Imperio at the OWF International Elite Tournament. She is so smol!! A LOT of people came out to watch her compete. She snatched 80kg and clean and jerked 100kg. Was cool to see in real life instead of on Instagram.

Our June #SMAJ was going to a footy event called Dynamic Dees. I could get my picture taken with some of the players (that’s Caleb Windsor, Jake Lever, and Kozzy Pickett) and then they just talked about Melbourne stuff and answered questions. It was fun although some of the people there were like… REALLY into football. And I ordered a cob loaf that ended up being just a plain loaf of bread and that was a bit disappointing. Still have never had a cob loaf with dip.

It was really cold for a couple weeks. It makes me feel like I’m dead. Getting out of bed when it’s 8 degrees in the bedroom is not pleasant.

I started following these energy efficiency ladies on Instagram (@jenlishfixitchicks) and they suggested bubble glazing (sticking bubble wrap on the windows). The bedroom windows don’t look out on to anything so I thought I’d give it a try. I think it’s helped cut down on drafts and condensation on the windows, but it’s still very cold.

Gav and Aura came over to play Wingspan and Gav’s favourite game: Brass Birmingham. Scott and I tried our best, and it was okay playing it with their help, but it was pretty hard to get the hang of.

On King’s Birthday we went to Eat Pierogi Make Love to eat unlimited pierogies. They were fantastic. We were able to order mixed plates, with either vegan sour cream or regular so I got to try everything and minimise the lactose, which was great. I had 18 pierogies and the outside world started to slow down.

Nankeen Night Heron.
Female Flame Robin.
A whoooole lot of ibis (Straw Necked and Australian White).

The last Birdlife Photography outing was a bit closer to home, Dandenong Valley Wetland and Jells Park. We always seem to see lots of birds in the morning, and then not many in the after lunch spot. I spent a lot of time answering questions about Christmas Island.

I had grand plans of knitting a bird blanket, maybe selling patterns for different birds. I designed quite a few little birds using my cross stitch pattern software and this was my first prototype, a pink robin. I used a sort of combined intarsia/fair isle technique. It turned out ok but tbh it’s not that enjoyable to knit with tons of tangled balls of yarn and the whole thing gave me a lot of anxiety. Plus there are so many ends to sew in. I don’t know if I’ll bother making more.

Scott continues to crush it at crochet. He made April this Pusheen. She loved it!

Rosemarie mailed me some Trader Joe’s ube mochi pancake mix for my birthday. Delicious! Especially topped with homemade cookie dough ice cream for an extremely decadent breakfast.

I made a carrot cake to bring to Boronia for Pat and Jemma’s birthday lunch. I didn’t think I like carrot cake, but now I do. Although next time I would leave the pineapple out, or maybe blend it up so it doesn’t have chunks.

Unpictured things:

  • Scott and I did one quick go kart race with my voucher. They have new karts and I actually had to use the brakes this time! I also spun out almost immediately, hahaha. We did the worst in our group but I beat Scott and that’s all that matters. :D Afterwards we dropped by Maz’s house to sit under their kotatsu for a while and chat and eat snacks.
  • Gav organised for a whole bunch of Phoenix people to go out for unlimited Korean BBQ. So much meat. Some of the people there were like PRO kbbqers. We… were not. But it was still very fun. I ate a lot but felt less terrible than after AYCE pierogies.
  • We started getting fruit and veg deliveries of rejected food. It’s been fun so far. It seems like a lot of the produce gets rejected because it’s too small or too large, but is still in perfect condition. We’ve managed to keep up with eating it all except the oranges are starting to pile up. I’ve never eaten many normal oranges. If you have any suggestions other than just cutting them up into wedges, let me know.

Feels like ancient history at this point but here we go…

Jen had a birthday party in Bis’s common room where we all got to make our own books! She brought tons of supplies and helped us put them together. Very cool activity. We also played games and had a baked potato bar, and tried all sorts of crazy Kit Kats.

Ben & Jerry’s free cone day. Only had to wait 2 minutes in line too. I quite like their vegan cookie dough ice cream.

Jess told us about this art exhibit called DISH at Boroondara Town Hall. It was pretty neat! Scott appreciated the crochet stuff now that he knows how it’s done. There was a bunch of ceramic foods as well. We liked the banh mi the most.

Rally + Crafternoon combo day.

(This is what I was working on.) A gigantic beanie. It’s extremely warm because the band is like 4 layers of 8-ply wool. Scott has been using it inside the house. :P

I was a bit apprehensive about our April #SMAJ because it was in the exact same place that we’d gone for a previous SMAJ that was a bit meh. But this one was better. You basically just watched a BBC documentary about animals from all around the world on all the screens all over the place. Then we did the photobooth and got burgers for dinner.

Michael and Gina had us over for a delicious noodle dinner and to play Inis, Michael’s new favourite game. I found it a bit confusing, but we mostly got it by the end. Gina won twice. :D

Big Salad, and doughnuts from an appreciative patient. Balance.

Unpictured Stuff:

  • I competed in the Victorian Masters Championships. My first actual Masters competition. I didn’t have the best snatch day (45x/46/49x) and STILL couldn’t get a 60kg clean and jerk (56/59/61x) but at least I did 59kg which is technically a comp PB. I dunno. Weightlifting is annoying sometimes. Anyway I still got a silver medal (there were only two people in my category). Pretty much everyone there got a medal. I don’t have plans to compete again until the end of the year.
  • We went to a different brand of trivia one night with a couple of Scott’s friends, and even though there were approx 50 teams there, we won!
  • We started playing pickleball twice a week. There’s a new session that started up on Thursday nights that is all levels so we’ve brought tons of friends to come try. It’s been fun.

So late. Oops.

January 2024

Scott’s school friend Jono came to visit and they got the whole gang back together. This picture makes me laugh because Scott looks so short.

Jono’s daughter really like the budgie that Scott crocheted for her.

Our January #SMAJ was going out for dinner and watching a drone show put on by the Aquarium in the city. I don’t know how well you can see it in the picture but they made different shapes like penguins and sharks and stuff that moved up and down the Yarra. It was kinda neat, although short.

And then (vegan) ice cream on the way home. I like Piccolina vegan pistachio ice cream because it’s actually a bit creamy, rather than most of the other dairy free options around here which are just fruity sorbets.

For the Australia Day long weekend I went to the Phoenix BBQ and then headed straight from there to meet my friends in Phillip Island where we just played games and ate food for the entire weekend. It was extremely chill and nice.

Still going to trivia about once a month. We had a really good run where we kept winning and didn’t have to pay for our dinners for quite a while. The venue is very cold though haha. Can’t believe Scott wouldn’t give me his sweatshirt.

Unpictured things:

  • This year was a Small Christmas, but Jess and family came to visit in early January so we did the whole Christmas again with them. Actually it might have been bigger than actual Christmas. I enjoyed making friendship bracelets with Ava. I did not enjoy having to go to work the next day.

February 2024

I organised this Big Day where I got to eat a delicious Cubano sandwich for lunch, then go to a crafternoon with my friends all afternoon. Then Scott came and met me and we shared a vegan banh mi pizza, then went to pickleball, and then got vegan ice cream on the way home. FUN!!

More Palestine rallying with Pitty and Rob. I enjoyed this poster.

We were lucky to be invited to Doreen’s house for Lunar New Year. It was SO DELICIOUS. We did that tossing salad thing for luck (the higher you toss the better!) and her husband and friends made an amazing spread. My favourite was a Singaporean dish they called Carrot Cake which is like taking the turnip cakes from dimsum and stir frying them with eggs and sauce, making it even more delicious. There was also pork belly, wings, noodles, bao, desserts, and a million other tasty things. I am so spoiled.

I went on a Birdlife photography outing to The Basin. We didn’t see that many birds but the Nankeen Night Heron was a new one for me.

We went to Kathy and Mischa’s to have dinner and play games. It was the first time we’ve seen their house that they’ve been building. It’s really nice! They made delicious homemade ravioli for dinner and we played two games: Portrayal, a game that someone has to describe a picture really fast and everyone else has to draw it, and Welcome To. Kathy was a pro urban planner.

February #SMAJ was going out for peking duck on a very very hot day. Was tasty. I made Scott reenact this gif which made me cry-laugh.

I went to the button shop and a 90-year old salesman helped me pick these buttons for my cardigan. It took a long time. He kept rejecting all the ones I pulled out and he moved verrrrrrrrry slowly. However, in the end, I think we made a nice decision.

Unpictured things:

  • We played pickleball at like 4 new locations. Every location has its pros and cons. Location, parking, temperature, scary ceiling fans, confusing floor markings, weird people, etc. Luckily pickleball is really growing here and new venues are popping up all the time, including one extremely close to our house.
  • Scott did about 15 interviews for different jobs. Things really picked up a lot once the holidays were over.

The Myer Christmas windows are Bluey themed this year. Adorbs. Scott planned a relaxed #SMAJ activity of Vietnamese food in the city for dinner, and a stroll past the windows. It wasn’t busy at all, which was nice. I’m doing it! I’m doing a handstand!

Robert and Jen picked me up to bring me to Maz’s for chill hangs. We played Isle of Skye, which I liked a lot! And Colt Express, which was a bit silly like Camel Up.

Another weekend we went to Meeplecon, where there was a marketplace (picked up a few cheap simple games), demos, and you could play anything from their huge collection. We picked Scoville to try because it can have up to 6 players, and had fun playing it. You cross breed chilies to make fancier chilies that you can make into recipes to get points. Unfortunately it looks like it will be hard to get a copy as the company has gone out of business.

We’ve been going to the Free Palestine rallies in the city every Sunday that we can. There were over 100,000 people there the first few weeks. It helps ease my despair a bit. I just hope it’s helping the cause.

Cardigan WIP. I had to wash and block it before I could attach the buttonband.

I made tres leches cake for the Medical Imaging Bake Off. I won second prize for taste! (Definitely wasn’t gonna win for presentation, especially by the time it got to work). I just made it full lactose cuz I wasn’t actually going to be eating much of it. It was a great event, we got to eat so many delicious things.

I also made homemade mint slices. You have to make a chocolate biscuit first, then make a peppermint fondant, then dunk in chocolate (which Scott helped). They were looking decent but unfortunately even though the chocolate tempered well, it bloomed and so they all have a weird swirl pattern on top. They taste good though!

Unpictured things:

  • So many allergy shot appointments. Thank goodness they bulk bill. They started off very uneventful but once I got to the full strength my arm does get a bit itchy.
  • So much pickleball. We started going to another club sometimes that’s much closer to our house. The people there are a bit younger, so they play differently. It’s interesting how different the clubs are.
  • We took April to the movies for her birthday. We saw Scary Girl, which I was not expecting to be Australian… at one point one of the characters said “OH NAUR!!” and it made me LOL.
  • Multiple trivia wins. Go team. Haven’t had to pay for dinner in a while, which is great while we’re still on single income.
  • Had to leave work early one day to take Scott to the hospital cuz he was in so much pain. Turns out he has a lil’ kidney stone. Thankfully by the next day he was nearly back to normal.

Hehehe. Melbourne played Collingwood in the first round of the finals at the MCG on a Thursday night. I had to quickly squeeze in a training session at home in the garage after work and then rush into the city to meet Scott. It started POURING pretty much exactly when I had to walk run from the train station to the MCG. I showed up to the MCC (thanks Connor!!) looking like a drowned rat. And tried to take a selfie on the escalator. Melbourne lost. And I forgot my backpack under the seat so Scott (thanks Scott!!) had to run back up to grab it and then we ended up on the train with all the super happy Collingwood people (the worst) instead of with the sad Melbourne people.

Then we had the Ian Laurie Cup on the weekend. I did OK, I guess. I snatched 45 kg and 48 kg, and missed 50 kg. I clean and jerked 55 kg, and 58 kg AGAIN, and the missed the jerk on 60 kg AGAIN. That’s the 4th time I’ve missed 60 in competition!! So annoying. However it was a fun day over all.

I went to another Birdlife photography outing at Banyule Flats. It was a small group this time, which was kind of nice. It was a beautiful day and we saw a decent amount of cool birds. We spent a while tracking a Shining-bronze Cuckoo and a Golden Whistler by their calls and eventually found them, which was neat. I saw them well with my binoculars but didn’t get any good photos.

We saw two Powerful Owls as well. Epic. They are huge.

Tawny Frogmouth pretending to be a stick.

Met up with Donna and fam to go for a walk, and give them the GIANT box of Pokemon cards that Doreen prepared. Always a pleasure to spend time with them.

Scott and I entered our first pickleball tournament. We were in the Mixed Doubles 2.5 or Under category, aka beginners. There were five teams in our category. We won our first two games in the round robin, then lost our next two games. This put us in third position going into the finals but we lost again, so ended up 4th overall. Whatevs, it was fun!! My goals for the tournament were: to not lose every single game (check!), and to get some points from my shots (check!). I can’t wait until we can do another tournament!

Sonika had a bunch of people over on FBTAGF public holiday (Friday Before The AFL Grand Final) for some games and food. It was a nice chill afternoon. I played half a game of Potion Explosion, which was quick to learn and has a fun ball dispenser mechanism.

Check out this super strong momma possum carrying THREE babies on her back!! We could hear something rustling around in the backyard but couldn’t figure out what it was.. turns out one of the babies had fallen off and she was trying to do a dramatic rescue mission. Kinda neat, although possums can be quite the pest.

Best messages to receive from Doreen: “I have fish for you”. We were extra spoiled this time, King George Whiting, already filleted for me! She gave us 7 fillets!! What a treat.

I finished the kids jumper from Vicky. I keep forgetting to bring it when we see the nephews! It was originally supposed to have a roll neck but I didn’t like the look of it so I just did a 1×1 rib instead.


This was such a fun project. I saw a video on Knitdiet’s instagram and bought the pattern and yarn immediately. Basically I knitted an enormous bag, then put it in the washing machine for an hour and it came out as a sturdy, normal size bag! So fun!! I’ve been using it to carry my knitting stuff around.

Unpictured stuff:

  • A lot more finals footy, but at home. We weren’t able to get tickets to the next Melbourne finals game (which they lost). And Scott’s team only played in Brisbane (which they won). Scott’s team made it to the Grand Final but it was too hard/expensive to get tickets so we watched it in Boronia with the fam. Brisbane lost.
  • Fathers Day/Myles’ Birthday brunch in Boronia. Scott made cinnamon buns.
  • Scott got laid off. Was a shame because it seemed like it was a good job, until the end.