Whoops I’ve jumbled up my posts a bit. Oh well. Here’s the rest of 2020: a mixture of lockdown and freedom.

Spent a lot of time in the garage. Sometimes it was freezing, sometimes it was sweltering. Always lots of spiders. Even though it sucked training alone in the garage I am sooooo grateful that I had this set up. Not only did it keep me sane during lockdowns, I even managed to improve a bit. I think about it like my catch up time compared to the other much stronger girls.

SMAJs were more difficult during lockdown. September SMAJ was a hot chocolate tasting pack from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, which had 16 different epic ho chos. This is just one example: Zingy Chilli (chilli and lime dark hot chocolate with lime marshmallow, choc lime slice, and chilli leaf truffles).

Mega fried Ubereats meal from Hibiki. Was a nice treat.

I worked on bird paintings a bit. I really should get back to them.

Of course we bought the Wingspan Oceania expansion. It’s so nice seeing birds we can find here. The new expansion adds a couple elements but nothing too overwhelming. We like it.

We went to the beach one day for a walk and found the beach covered in these crazy jelly blobs. I was scared to touch them until I saw the kids playing with them, throwing them back in the water or making huge piles of them. I later found out they’re moon snail egg sacs.

I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an ice cream from an ice cream truck before. It cost a lot but I have to say it was pretty great.

November SMAJ was a pottery painting session with BYO food and drink. I found it very stressful to paint something on a time deadline with no pre-planning. I know I need to relax, lol. I painted a mediocre mug, and Scott made a craptastic (his word) leaf shaped dish.

I made Tres Leches cake for Scott’s birthday/a Christmas brunch. Such a tasty cake. I still need to get a more similar sized cake tin and rimmed platter though so the liquid absorbs better.

Our December SMAJ activity was boating along the Yarra in a Go Boat. You don’t need a boat license because they go verrrrry slowly. It was neat to see the city from a different perspective. I think these would be fun with a big group of friends.

Docked the boat for a quick riverside coffee to go.

Unpictured things:

  • Many many picnics. Man we got so good at picnics in 2020, lol. I still think they’re a pretty good activity, eating food and lying around… that’s great.
  • We bought a new couch. It still has not arrived. I think we are on week 12 of 14-16 weeks now. Getting there!
  • AFL Grand Final at home with no guests. Zzzz. Can’t believe I managed to lose the sweep.

We had quite a busy start to the year! A lot of our spare time was taken up by preparing to move and moving but we still squeezed in plenty of fun stuff as well.

As is becoming tradition, we started 2020 by going to the beach on January 1 for a swim in the ocean. It wasn’t as hot as last year but plenty warm enough to jump off the pier and paddle around for a bit. It was nice to lie under our sunshade and read too.

We went to the local T20 derby. It was freezing. And kind of boring. I do not want to see good bowlers! I want to see bad bowling!!

I can’t walk to work any more so I bought an electric bike from Aldi. :D It is so fun, I really love it. It takes away all the parts I hated about biking and leaves all the fun parts. I can get to work in 20 minutes without getting sweaty! It can go 50km on one charge, and helps me go 25 km/hr (after that you’re on your own).

Noah’s parents went on holiday for their anniversary so he stayed with us for a night. Him and Scott played a lot of Fortnight, and I took him to my gym. One of the coaches showed him how to squat and deadlift and stuff. Jono was in town as well so we met up with him and some friends in the city for more T20 cricket. Which was also quite boring. That’s three times I’ve been recently and none of them have been particularly interesting. I’m really starting to think even big bash is not really that exciting.

We had the craziest hail storm I’ve ever seen. The pictures don’t do it justice because those chunks on the pavement are ones that have already smashed/melted. The hail was the size of pool balls!! I was so worried that the windows of the car would break since it was just parked on the street. Scott ran out to throw some blankets/towels over the car which helped a lot but we still ended up with three monster dents on the hood and one above the door. UGH. There was SO much damage to all the cars in our suburb.

Plus I think it cracked some of the roof tiles (we told the landlords/have moved out now so… not my problem..). We found out about that because Melbourne had BROWN RAIN for a couple days after for some reason (YAY CLIMATE CHANGE). This brown rain really highlighted the leak by staining the walls and carpet as it flowed into the house.

The hail was super localised so our new house appears to be completely fine btw.

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I started to feel very sick that weekend but still went to work on Monday because Scott’s January #SMAJ activity was corporate tickets to the Australian Open on Monday night and I felt like I couldn’t call in sick and then go to the tennis. So I suffered through a day of work, then went to the tennis, which was probably a terrible idea. To make it worse it was POURING RAIN and I got 100% soaked from waist down (I did have my good coat on) on the way there.

The tennis was very cool though. Thanks Telstra! We got to have a great meal and then watched Ash Barty’s match and Novak Djokovic’s match. We had to leave before Novak was finished winning though because I was a disgusting snotty mess and I was running out of tissues and felt terrible for everyone around me. I ended up staying home from work and sleeping for two days straight after that.

Settlement day was uneventful. Almost too uneventful. We really had no idea if anything was happening. But eventually in the afternoon we got an email that said everything had gone through and I could go to the real estate office to pick up the keys to the new house. Hooray! Our mortgage showed up in our online banking as well which is very confronting every time I open the app.

We didn’t move in straight away though because we were going camping that weekend with some friends. I really don’t recommend doing that unless you love checklists a lot. It all turned out pretty well though with minimal mistakes. I’ll leave our camping trip to another post.

When we got back from camping I did a quick pop-in at my weightlifting club’s annual bbq while Scott unpacked the car at the new house. Then we packed all the last minute stuff at the old house and disassembled the beds and moved everything to the garage.

Moving day went well! My obsessive preparations were worth it. I used the same el cheapo Gumtree movers we used the last couple times and they managed to fit in 98% of our stuff in one truck load while Scott and I chilled in the garage. It only took 2.5 hours and came out way cheaper than I budgeted. Unpacking took much much much longer.

THREE OTHER RANDO JANUARY THINGS:

1. They renovated the gym a bit and now the ladies have a much bigger change room with a sweet giant mirror!

2. We played a few more games of Castles of Burgundy. It’s pretty fun although we still don’t really know what we’re doing. I would like to try playing with 3 or 4 players. *COUGH ROSEMARIE GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE COUGH*

3. These bean and cheese enchiladas were quite tasty.

November #SMAJ was going out for dinner at Ped’s Kafe. I was supposed to do active recovery that day so we were going to walk there but then it started to rain. Boo. Dinner was good though.

Son in law eggs. Deep fried eggs with tamarind sauce and crispy fried shallots. They were a bit strange… I thought the egg would have some kind of coating, and then deep fried like a scotch egg, but it was literally a deep fried hard boiled egg. Quite difficult to eat.

Super delicious roti with peanut sauce. Crispy chewy buttery perfect roti. Pretty much everything you dream roti to be.

Coconut rice and beef massaman curry. The slow cooked beef was soooooo tender and so delicious. It also had roasted cashews, potatos and crispy shallots on top. The broth was super delicious. We mopped it up with roti and rice. YUM.

Everything was very extravagantly presented. I would really like to go back and try more because that curry was amazing and I feel like all the others would be quite good as well. And you can bring your own wine. Skip the eggs though.

Ped's Kafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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.

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!!