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.

Here’s a whole bunch of things we did in May and June 2019, non-chronologically.

Made a bunch of ugly dumplings. They tasted good but the filling in the chicken and prawn dumps was too runny so I was having a hard time forming them. Scott’s pork ones looked a bit better. After this Scott signed us up for a dumpling class for June #SMAJ, which was fun but we didn’t really learn anything new besides how to make the dough, which I’m not sure I would bother doing.

I learned how to make no knead bread. IT’S SO EASY!!!

Just wanted to show off this tasty sandwich on homemade bread.

Myles being adorable at family dinner.

House hunt update: not much. This was us at an auction, ready to bid. But it ended up going for more than our budget. Shrug. The place had spongey floors anyway. There hasn’t been a lot posted lately. We’ve gone to see a few places but none of them have been really speaking to us. We’ll just keep being patient and waiting.

This is the window in our toilet. It has glass slats but it’s just open to the outside, for ventilation?? This is ok in the summer, but in winter it goes down to like 3 degrees!! It made using the bathroom miserable and even with the door shut it still made that end of the house very cold.

I asked for help on Facebook and we figured out I could remove the slats and seal up the window. I used a pillow at first until we could get to Bunnings to get a piece of styrofoam. That beige buddy is wedged in there so well we’ll have to break it to get it out I think. It’s helped A LOT.

Crocheting for warmth.

A fun quick crochet project. Scott thinks I should have left a head hole in the middle.

There was a nurse at work who loves to braid hair. Lucky me! I got so many compliments on these ones at the gym. I think they added 5 kg to all of my lifts.

Auntie Hsi mailed me a quilt! It is extremely bright. It’s very well made and the perfect size and shape to use while sitting down because it covers all the way to your feet. She actually sent another one a couple weeks later too but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet. It’s purple and geometric and really pretty. Thank you so much Hsi!!

I got to go to a dinner meeting with the company that makes the radioactive spheres treatment I help with at work. It was at the Sofitel, which if you have visited me in Melbourne I have probably taken you there, because they have the best bathroom. The view was great and the food was super fancy! I got to try freeze dried mandarin! Not bad for a free dinner and a couple hours of CPD! :)

It’s not all blood, sweat, and tears at the gym.

I had a good comp last month. I made 5 out of 6 lifts. I missed my second snatch attempt which was really frustrating because I had done that weight several times fairly easily before in training. I got it on the third attempt but I wished I had made it on the second attempt so I could have tried something heavier after. Still a 1 kg competition PB though. And then I got all three of my clean and jerks, the last one being a 2 kg PB. Not bad considering I had only been doing power jerks in training for weeks and only switched back to split jerks the two light sessions before the comp. I’m up to a 95 kg total. I really want to get a 100 kg total!!

Some cool stuff that we’ve made/eaten lately.

Dutch Baby! These are so cool. I mean look at those ruffles! Look at that deliciousness! They are also super easy to make. I use this recipe. Dump everything in the blender while you heat the cast iron in the oven. Pour in the mixture, and bake for 15 minutes. Top with whatever you like.

Mi Goreng doughnut from Bistro Morgan. It was filled with chilli chocolate custard, and topped with Mi Goreng glaze, noodles and a sweet chilli drizzle. It was, understandably, weird. A spicy doughnut, lol. The other one was a New Yorker: cheesecake custard filling, passionfruit glaze, cheesecake biscuit crumb. This one was, understandably, normal.

Scott made pavlova for the first time and this is how it came out. O_O Not bad! I like pav. The chewy outside bits are the best.

Just a really delicious salad that I made that I wanted to show off. Perfectly cooked grilled salmon, avo, goat cheese, cucumber, cherry tomato, on rocket with a bit of balasamic vinegar. I could eat this salad over and over.

Homemade almond brittle ice cream in a store bought waffle cone. Actually not my best batch of ice cream, you can kind of see that it came out a bit grainy. This is the second time this has happened and I’m not sure exactly why. Scott thinks it might be because the almond brittle (or cookie dough in the other instance) started to dissolve in the ice cream? I have made some good batches lately though: passionfruit was a big hit.

The worlds most expensive bubble tea. Cheesy mango. Such a gross name, they really should specify that it’s cream cheese, haha. It actually was quite delicious, but man it cost a lot (like $8!!). Why do they use such fancy cups?

Soondubu jjiggae. This is one of my favourite Korean foods. I JUST LOVE SOFT TOFU SO MUCH. So I tried to make it myself at home with our trusty stone bowl! I used this recipe and it turned out fine, although I was hungry about 20 minutes later because it wasn’t much more than a bit of tofu and some water. Next time I will add some kind of seafood, and maybe serve it with a bowl of rice like they do in Korea.

OK no more footy talk for six months. What else have we been up to?

I did another weightlifting competition at the end of August. My back wasn’t great at the time so my coach and I were being pretty conservative. I wasn’t expecting any PBs because I was powering everything, but I went 6/6 and still got a 2 kg PB in snatch and 1 kg PB in clean and jerk! I have another comp coming up in November and it will be interesting to see what I can do if I do full movements.

We got these pretty carrots from Costco. I roasted them whole for about 30 minutes. Then mixed up a 3:2 ratio of balsamic vinegar and honey with a bit of thyme, drizzled the mixture over and broiled them for another 10 minutes, then sprinkled with salt. They turned out like salty-sweet-tangy candy vegetables. So yummy. I especially liked the crispy tips.

Also the Pinch of Yum freezer wild rice soup recipe is magical. I still can’t understand how a recipe can be so easy at prep time and at cook time and still turn out so good! All of herĀ freezer meals are so intriguing. Basically they’re a whole bunch of recipes where you cut up and freeze a bunch of uncooked stuff, and then later pop them straight into your pressure cooker frozen and voila 30 minutes later you have dinner. PS I doubled the recipe and split it into three dinner packs. Also I used brown rice instead of wild rice because wild rice doesn’t exist here. Scott said it tasted like the inside of a chicken pot pie. I will 100% be trying more of these recipes.

This is our new house btw. It’s pretty great other than the lack of insulation. I want to buy one.

The other morning we went to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival with Scott’s mum and aunt. It was alright. They must be making bank because it was very busy and it’s not cheap. I think it would be better if they planted the flowers into cool designs like in Ottawa, but perhaps my standards are a bit high, haha.

I am very pleased to report that my allergies are not a problem any more. I just have to use antihistamine eye drops, antihistamine nasal spray, and a daily antihistamine tablet. Is that too much? I hope not because this is the first spring in like 8 years that I have felt like a normal human.

I trekked out to ALTONA NORTH to go to my old coworkers 30th birthday party. It was nice to catch up with them, I do miss my old EH work pals. Also wow Melbourne is so big it’s like the West and the North could be entirely different cities… I never go there!!

I went on a work wine tour in the Mornington Peninsula with a bunch of techs and nurses and receptionists from medical imaging at my current job. It was very fun and silly. Now I see familiar faces if I have to go to MRI or CT and stuff which is nice.

Myles turned 1 and had a birthday party with 9 trillion kids. He is v cute.

A little while ago Scott’s dad won a gigantic charcoal bbq and several boxes of wine and a bbq lunch party from a liquor store contest that he didn’t even know he entered. They had the lunch on Saturday. A lady came and cooked up like ten different kinds of meat for us, and served it and cleaned up afterwards. What a treat for Scott’s parents. The most hilarious part though? The lady used the regular bbq to cook it, not the prize one hahahahhaa.

This Friday we’re going to Canada!! Just to Vancouver to visit Rosemarie and all our old friends. I can’t wait! I have a very long list of foods I want to eat: Macintosh apples, Jamaican patties, perogies, poutine, yam rolls, Blenz hot chocolate, Smartfood popcorn etc etc. I have to be so strategic about my meals. NO EATING FOODS I CAN GET IN AUSTRALIA.

All for now.