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.

I had a Minor Burger with a side of chips. I thought the burger was very good! The chips were ok but really really salty and in really small bits. Their house made tomato sauce was tasty.

Scott had a Redskin milkshake which he liked but I didn’t care for (I don’t like the lolly though).

Tuck Shop Take Away Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have wanted to see whales from land for a long time. I’m always looking, but hadn’t had any luck so I looked up the best places to see them in the world and one of those places happens to be from an island just off the coast from Brisbane. How convenient.

Humpback whales migrate up and down the East coast of Australia every year and pass by very close to the the Eastern point of North Stradbroke Island on the “whale highway”. So I booked an Airbnb right in Point Lookout for a couple nights to maximize our chances of seeing them.

It was a bit of an epic journey to get from Surfers Paradise to Point Lookout by light rail/train/train/taxi/ferry/bus, but it was relatively pleasant.

The first thing we did after dropping our bags off was head out to do the Gorge Walk. We saw whales almost right away! A few blowholes and we even saw a whale swim REALLY close to shore right below us. Another person said that whale had a calf with her but we missed that.

Life goal complete! I was already satisfied.

We walked down to Cylinder Beach to go to what I thought was a pizza restaurant but was actually a food truck in a parking lot. Everyone else was just driving up and getting takeaway but we didn’t have that luxury so instead we ate in the dark on a concrete bollard. The prawn and chorizo pizza was delicious and I didn’t mind the ambience tbh.

Whale!!

We bought some oysters and salmon to eat by the seashore while watching for more whales. We saw SO MANY. Like 25+!! Whales everywhere!! Some of them breached so nicely that we could see the white parts under their mouths. We saw turtles and dolphins too.

Check out those maniacs! They were jumping off the end of the rocks and then swimming back to the beach. Bonkers!

Eventually we decided we saw enough whales and walked down to the RSL for a cheap drink. We still saw even more whales while sitting on the balcony!

We bought some fresh Spanish mackerel and veg on the way back to grill for dinner. So nice. I love seafood so much.

Brunch at the Blue Room to cap off a very relaxing and satisfying couple of days on Straddie. I had avocado toast and Scott had a maple bacon dutch baby. Both were very tasty with a lovely view from the patio. Yes, we even saw a couple more whale spouts while eating.

The Blue Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

May #SMAJ was a gelato appreciation class at Gelato Messina in Fitzroy. We got to learn a bit about Gelato Messina and how to make gelato, eat a three course gelato degustation menu, scoop some ice cream, decorate and eat an ice cream cake, and taste as many of the gelatos as we wanted.

It’s expensive, as everything from them is, but it was a pretty cool treat activity. Plus we got two cookbooks, cooler bags, and a tub of ice cream each to take home.

God Save The Quince: speculaas, toasted milk skin, quince puree, cultured yoghurt gelato

First time seeing milk skin in real life. It was crunchy! I really liked the tanginess of the gelato.

The Italian Rhapsody: crispy eggplant, mascarpone cream, Amaretto Disaronno jelly, espresso gelato, chocolate crumble

Served in a flower pot. The crispy eggplant was actually really yum. Like chips!

Magma Mia “Here I Flow Again”: salted passionfruit and white chocolate curd, black sesame seeds gelato, dark chocolate sauce, green tea moss, crystalised sesame seeds, yuzu pudding

This one was crazy. The rocks were made of chocolate and each filled with something different. I loooved the salty passionfruit curd.

Scott scraping some strawberry gelato into a bowl.

(A slice of) Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom Cake: dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies, dulce de leche, flourless chocolate sponge, popping candy feuilletine grass base, red chocolate glaze, white chocolate dots

This cake was good. We learned how to assemble the different inner bits and do the glaze and attach the dots on the outside. Looked fun. I suppose now I need to step up my ice cream cake game!

We chose pear and rhubarb, blood orange, pistachio crumble and Giant’s Milk (milk gelato with milk crumb and milk jam) to take home. That last one sounds really plain but was actually really tasty. Pistachio crumble is definitely my favourite regular flavour from them.

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We wanted a quick, cheap, relatively healthy lunch out the other day and ended up at Huff Bagelry in Carnegie.

I had smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers on a garlic, salt and rosemary bagel. It was quite tasty, but the bagel destroyed the roof of my mouth. So many scrapes.

Scott had meatloaf, cheese, tomato relish, and tomato on sesame seed bagel. Quite unphotogenic but he said it was nice.

Overall, I find bagels very disappointing in this country. They’re more like regular buns with a hole in the middle. I miss Montreal-style bagels.

Huff Bagelry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato