I’m back. Let’s catch up.

Our March #smaj activity was clay target shooting in Carrum Downs. I was worried about it! I don’t think I have very good hand-eye coordination, and I’d never even touched a gun before. But it was actually super fun! I did better than Scott!

We got to do three rounds. In the first round, they shot one target at a time and they told you where it was going to come out. In the second round they shot two, but told us where they would come out from. And in the third round they also shot two, but you didn’t know where they would come from. I think I got about 70% of my targets which is WAY higher than I would have guessed.

The guy standing next to me in the picture who ran the whole thing went to the Commonwealth Games! Maybe it’s a new hobby for me when I retire from weightlifting. :D

We went to a AFLW game. We got to see the goal of the year!

Terrible picture but Da Boys came over for lunch and games. We played Tiny Towns and Camel Up, and ate sausages and mac and cheese.

I was doing regular, uneventful back squats and thought “Hmm, my finger feels kinda weird” and then watched it turn purple right before my eyes! I must have burst a blood vessel or something?

Waiting after jab #1. My work got us vaccines very early. We all thought we were category 1B, but we got them nearly straight away with category 1A. We got AstraZeneca, then literally the next day they started having all these news articles about how you could get blood clots and they were going to stop using the vaccine in many parts of the world. Felt great man. But we all survived (so far) and I’m due for my second dose this week.

It has been reassuring being half vaccinated while still seeing lots of patients, many of whom are immuno-compromised. (And also don’t wear their masks properly.)

Just a random tasty meal. Honey gochujang baked salmon with green beans and rice.

Other things not pictured:

  • Scott played A LOT of lawn bowls. He got promoted to the club first team, and they made it to the finals.
  • He also made it to the grand final in his basketball league.
  • We had a few family lunches.
  • We went to this progressive dinner thing in Kew where we had entree, main, and dessert at different restaurants within walking distance. I didn’t take any pictures but it was fun. We ate so many different things and also way too much.
  • We started pottery class. I think I’ll make that into its own post.

The last couple months have really revolved around trying to get a stupid house. We’ve upped our pre-approval amount, expanded our search radius, re-evaluated our criteria, checked out about 9000 apartments/villas/townhouses, but no luck so far. Some auctions go 200k over the listed price and we don’t even get a bid in, and a few times we’ve come second, which is even more heartbreaking. This weekend we inspected eight places! A few of them are good. Please cross your fingers for us.

I decided we should take a day off work to do something fun. We drove out the Peninsula Hot Springs and had a lovely time floating around in various hot tubs. I really love the cold plunge pools! It was excellent going on a weekday because it wasn’t very crowded. If anyone wants to go there please let me know because I’m down.

We went out for dinner at the Red Hill Epicurean. There are not that many places open for dinner on weeknights near the hot springs but this was still a good option. They had a nice roaring fire in the fireplace and our food was nice. We got the brisket special and a fancy margherita pizza. The crust was nice and thin and the brisket was nice and tender.

Red Hill Epicurean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I competed in a VWA Open comp. It went pretty well, I got 4 out of 6 lifts. I snatched 40/43/46x. The 43 was a 1 kg PB and the 46 was very nearly a huge PB but I stupidly let the bar drop behind me which is automatic red lights. I was very very annoyed with myself about that. I (power) cleaned and (power) jerked 50/54x/54 (1 kg PB).

Training has been pretty good lately. We’ve been re-introducing a lot of things that I stopped doing because of back pain and they’re not causing any problems this time! My main problem these days is that I’m weak AF and can’t stand things up. For example I can power clean much more than I can full clean. I have another comp in 3 weeks and then I think the plan is to not compete for a couple months and just work on all my weaknesses for a bit.

I got my hairs cut. Should have done it a long time ago tbh. Short hair is much better than a ratty ponytail.

We went to Scott’s friends house to watch the Grand Final. The game was a blow out but half time kick to kick was fun.

We made shortbread cookies dipped in white chocolate with pistachio to bring to the party. YUM. They were a hit.

I crocheted this bag. What do you think of Scott’s modelling?

Canadian election ballots are hilariously simple compared to Aussie ballots. I’m not sure our votes made it back in time. Next time I’ll get organised a lot earlier… if I’m still eligible to vote?

I decided to start practising drawing. I actually find it really hard because my hands are so shaky it’s hard to draw straight lines. I’m very curious to see if this project will make my hands get better or if it’ll just stay the same. Perhaps that will be my drawing style… wobbly.

October #SMAJ was a visit to the Cheese Festival with some of Scott’s work friends. Similarly to last year there weren’t a lot of actual cheese vendors there, but there were lots of food trucks serving cheese-centric meals. We had perogies (that weren’t really perogies imo, since instead of having potato in them they had halloumi + cranberry, vegetables, and chorizo fillings), and that pasta where they swirl the hot noodles in a cheese wheel. I enjoyed both. And we bought a lump of cheddar with those awesome crunchy bits in it.

Unpictured things:

  • Caught up with the old gang from my last job. More and more of them have also moved on. I wasn’t even there that long ago and it’s almost a completely different department.
  • Scott went to Sydney for work so we had a gym ladies night drinks at my friends house.
  • We had afternoon drinks with Scott’s work friends in Richmond. I got to eat tater tots.
  • We occasionally get the gang together for trivia.

Time for another monthly update. Apparently all we did this winter was eat. Almost everything in this post revolves around food, lol.

We went back to my Shira Nui for my 33rd birthday. It’s one of our favourite special occasion restaurants in Melbourne. Again we had the omakase which comes with 9 courses of two pieces of nigiri. They were all delicious although the final oyster/mayo one is probably my least favourite. I got a weather station (now I can tell when it’s warmer outside than inside) and a board game voucher (which we used to buy Drop It).

My coworker quit and moved to England. We had an epic goodbye dinner for him at Pizza Religion where we ordered nearly every single pizza on the menu and shared all of them. It was amazing!!! We worked very hard after he left. A couple other people were on holidays or sick and we were left very short staffed. It was exhausting tbh. Things are back to normal now thank goodness.

I have been having continual problems with my SI joint which is extremely frustrating but I got one of those belts that some people have to use during pregnancy and that helped a lot. (No I’m not pregnant.) Now that we’ve figured out what was irritating it (split jerks) I’ve still been able to keep weightlifting. Next we strengthen everything around the joint.

I went out to the city for my friend Ash’s birthday party. They had alcoholic bubble tea!!!!! Amazing!!

We “celebrated” our 9th wedding anniversary at Pancake Parlour with $5 pancake dinners, hahahah. I had the potato pancakes and Scott had something like bolognese pancakes. It was… good value. We’ll do something nicer next year. :)

I went to the Bendigo Wool Show with Ash and Penny. There was tons and tons of wool and sheep and crafty stuff. I bought some Bloom wool from Bendigo Woolen Mills and got Scott a bowl and a platter from his favourite pottery ever, Bendigo Pottery. The timing was excellent actually because the traditional 9th anniversary gift is pottery!!

Scott’s boss is on Australian Survivor and it’s weird seeing her there. She’s doing pretty well but I can’t imagine she will win when she’s already quite rich.

We had dinner in a bubble for our July #SMAJ. It was chilly at first but they had blankets and hot toddies. I enjoyed the bubble tent experience.

August #SMAJ was the hot chocolate festival at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. I ordered the mint ho cho with a homemade mint slice and Scott ordered the macadamia ho cho with macadamia cheesecake, but we liked each other’s better so we traded. Jemma and April came too. It was an overwhelming amount of sugar and chocolate. Afterwards we went to Four Pillars Gin in Healesville and I did a gin tasting which was cool but I didn’t buy any because I don’t particularly like gin.

Ice cream all the time. We pretty much always have ice cream in the freezer these days hahaha. That ice cream maker was an excellent birthday gift last year. Left picture is real mint choc, and the right picture is white chocolate ice cream with blondie chunks. The white chocolate base is my current favourite recipe at the moment. It’s easy to make and suuuuper creamy and smooth. Much better than just regular vanilla. Other ones we’ve made lately: peanut butter chocolate, vanilla with Nanaimo bar, coffee, vegan coconut strawberry.

BY THE WAY I’m actually losing weight on this nightly ice cream diet, lol. Maybe I have worms. But actually I guess it balances out with walking to work and running around at work and weightlifting training.

More diet food. Half a Dutch Baby with a scoop of homemade ice cream. Anyone want to come over for brunch? I’ll make it for you.

I went to my friend Zory‘s art show called Incognito. She used to do weightlifting with me but had to stop when she got a job too far away. Anyway her show was really cool.

Bummer Weekend Part 1: There was a house that we REALLY liked and was actually in our budget. We’d checked everything and been to see it several times. It didn’t seem to have any of the weird problems that every other house has. We had PLENTY above the asking price but it wasn’t enough, the house sold for $151K more than the listed price. :(

Bummer Weekend Part 2: Noah’s footy grand final. Unfortunately they got crushed. At least we saw Noah kick a goal.

Bummer Weekend Part 3: We went to the Richmond v Brisbane game with my friend Connor from work. He saved us great seats and we had fun but Brisbane lost and Scott was sad.

Not getting that house really sucked. There hasn’t been any other properties since then that interest us. The market should pick up a bit now that it’s coming in to spring but yeah nothing so far. At least we got some auction practice in so next time shouldn’t be quite so scary.

There was some good parts of Bummer Weekend though. We drove out to Ascotvale to attend a POUTINE FESTIVAL. It was sooo busy and cost more than a ski lodge poutine but this was a special treat. We got an original poutine, with real imported cheese curds, and a ridiculous poutine BURGER. The burger had a potato cake, cheese curds and gravy, plus a regular patty with cheese, hahaha. It was wet and sloppy but tbh I liked it quite a bit.

Coles sells corn tortillas now! I made delicious fish tacos with cabbage slaw. (I substituted basa fillet for the shrimp in the recipe.) Mexican ingredients are gradually getting easier to find here. You used to not be able to get black beans either!

Last weekend we had Myles’s 2nd birthday in the morning and Michelle’s 40th birthday in the evening. To kill time in between we went to see the new Quentin Tarantino movie (I thought it was weird). Both parties were nice and any day that you get to eat two cakes is a good day.

We took a few days off at the beginning of July for a little trip to Queensland. We spent a couple days on the Gold Coast to go to amusement parks, a couple days on North Stradbroke Island to see whales, and a day in Brisbane to go to this year’s Brisbane v Melbourne game. It was lots of fun.

First though, look who we saw at the airport!! They were on their way to Coffs Harbour with their grandma and we just happened to sit down at the table behind them to eat our breakfast. After a few minutes Scott said to me “I think that’s Beau??” and it was! Everyone was so surprised, it was funny.

I had a hard to time deciding how to maximize our time in Movie World and Wet N Wild with our 1.5 days on the Gold Coast because the weather report was so grim. Eventually we decided we’d head to Movie World for the first half day even though it was supposed to rain, because at least then we could try again the next day too if necessary (rollercoasters > waterslides). It ended up being the perfect decision because it didn’t actually rain and the park was super empty. The longest we had to wait for anything was like 20 minutes for Superman and everything else was 0-5 minute waits. SO GOOD!

We ended up going on everything we wanted multiple times. We went on Superman x2, Green Lantern x2, Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster, and DC Rivals x4!! Plus watched a few lame shows. (Arkham Asylum was closed for maintenance.) All within half a day.

DC Rivals is the longest/tallest/fastest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere. We went on it twice and got the exact same second last row. Then we paid extra to do it backwards, which was a really weird feeling! Then the very last ride of the day we were really crossing our fingers we’d get the front row. We ended up getting the second front row which was ok but obviously a tiny bit disappointing. But then! The people who did get the front row asked us if we wanted it because they were too scared!! We were like THANK YOU!!!! And yes the front was awesome. Made my eyes water.

Superman was also awesome. It’s really slow and corny in the indoors part but then Superman blasts you out and it’s really great. I love launch coasters!!

So does Scott, apparently. :’)

Tradition! (Featuring bizarre crotch bruises from belt squats.)

The next day we went to Wet N Wild. The park was empty because 1. everyone went to Movie World and 2. it’s the middle of winter. It rained a bit but it didn’t really matter because we were already wet!

Almost half the slides and rides were closed for maintenance which was a little lame but we still had fun. We went on everything that was open at least once in a couple hours.

After Wet N Wild we walked over to check out Top Golf. Scott was v iksidid. I was not really interested so Scott just booked 30 minutes and hit lots of balls very fast. They have all sorts of games you can play with the electronic tracked balls. He seemed to like it a lot. Too bad there’s not one down here because it does seem like a fun thing to do with your friends.

We had to walk back towards Movie World to catch the bus back to the light rail station so why not use our passes to go back in and ride Superman one more time. :D Then we really felt like we had “done” Movie World. (Also it was quite a lot busier in there so we confirmed that we had made the right decision the day before! How often does that happen?!)

We got off the light rail a bit early and walked along the beach back to our hotel. And then later we went to see Toy Story 4. Big day!!

The next day we head off on an epic journey for a few days on North Stradbroke Island which I’ll write about in another post.

After Straddie we went to Brisbane for our yearly family footy battle. Scott got us tickets in the front row, on the fence! That was pretty cool. It was a fairly close game for the first three quarters, with Melbourne slightly ahead. Then as usual things started to get real bad and Brisbane ended up crushing us by more than 5 goals. Melbourne are TERRIBLE this year, I don’t know what happened.

These monthly updates seem to be the easiest way for me to semi keep up to date with blogging so I think I’ll just keep making them.

We have officially started looking for a house to buy. We went to a mortgage broker and have been watching auctions for practice. We went and looked at one place but it wasn’t quite right. I’m a bit picky, I want a bath tub, ducted heating, a garage, and hopefully still walking/biking distance to work. We are trying to stay calm and be patient. There’s another one posted right now that gets an 11/10 on location scale, but we haven’t seen it in person yet.

We saw Tom Gleeson at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. We’d only just seen his TV show Hard Quiz for the first time a week or two before but found it quite amusing, so when I opened the comedy festival brochure and saw his show ad it seemed like a good one to go to. It was good. I wish I could think of the right things to say as quick as he can.

Twinsies! Volunteering at the Victorian Championships. I did the computer job, which is typing in the weights that the coaches/athletes want for their attempts and then marking them good or no lift. They can increase the number several times per attempt so you have to stay alert. It’s a good job though because you can see everything. My big goal is to qualify for this comp next year. I hope they don’t change the qualifying totals.

Was cleaning up my platform one night and realized I used every single change plate possible in one training session, hahahahaha.

I went to the footy three times and watched Melbourne lose three times. Depressing. At least the Melbourne v St Kilda game was kinda fun because we met up with my friend and sat right behind the interchange where we could see all the players up close.

And the Anzac Day Eve game was cool too when they did the lights out ceremony thing. Then we found out we were sitting in the wrong spot and had to move up to the real general admission which at that point was very full so we had to sit in the second last row. Much nosebleed.

After that game I decided I was going to stop paying to watch Melbourne lose. (I would still go if it was free of course, haha). Then they won the following two games! I don’t think they look very good as a team this year though.

We played a few new games. First pictured: Puerto Rico. I got a good deal on this on Facebook Marketplace. One of the other couples in our game group loves the game so we got them to teach it to us. It seems fun, not as complicated as Agricola, some depth. I like that you’re constantly doing something, even when it’s not your actual turn. But it needs 3+ players so we haven’t played it again yet.

Second was Terraforming Mars. We played this once before with Other Scott, but over Easter we played it a couple times on our own. It’s complicated and hard to be strategic/offensive, but really fun to just play because there’s lots of stuff to do. I would like to play this more.

And lastly, Camel Up. My coworker raved about this game, and it delivered. It’s quick and silly and probably 50+% luck, but very exciting and fun. It’s been a hit with every group we’ve played with. Da Boys caught on quickly and liked it too. The dice rolling pyramid thingy is 100% gimmick but it does legitimately make it more fun, haha.

We had a very relaxed Easter. Watched a lot of TV and movies and caught up on chores. We didn’t go anywhere this year. But two of Scott’s uncles came to visit which was exciting. I hadn’t met either of them before. Pat was so excited for bro time.

Approx $1K worth of Lune croissants. :’) They made a special ANZAC day kouign amann, which was (unsurprisingly) delicious. Everything they make is amazing.

My old trivia group finally coordinated a reunion trivia night and then as usual everyone bailed one by one except three of us. UGH. At least once Game of Thrones is finished the more reliable trusty trivia sub-group will restart.

Scott’s Monthly Activity Jaunt (#SMAJ – hashtag still in development) for April was going up Eureka Tower, but I think I’ll make that its own post because this is getting long enough already.