Thursday, October 13, 2011

A sunset bike ride

 Our busy schedules take over our lives and we miss the simple things. The last 30 minutes before the sun falls and darkness starts, is the most beautiful time.  
I just bought a bike, and I live 5 minutes from the beach, so I decided to have a night to my self. Just me, Iris (my bike, yes she has a name) and the warm sunset. On the way I stopped for a fresh squeezed juice. It was a perfect way to end my day off.
When was the last time you actually watched the sun set?

Camberwell Market

In a parking lot behind a row of shops, the Camberwell Market is held every Sunday from 7am until 1. It has everything from vintage dresses to cactus plants. It is not a food market, although they do have hot doughnut vendors that fill the air with a yummy smell. Anyone can rent a stall, and sell their stuff. Most sell second hand clothes, but there were a few local designers who sell new clothes too.
I usually work saturday nights, so waking up was a bit hard, but it was worth it. Even though it started sprinkling rain, the vendors were prepared and just packed up and waited in their cars until it passed. Everyone was really friendly and the prices were amazingly cheap. 

A few of my purchases....

Each stall had a unique theme.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lost & Found

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing better then a brand spanking new jacket, or pair of shoes, BUT there is something amazing that happens when you find something really cool at a second hand store. Most of them are slightly unorganized and are overwhelming, but that is the beauty in the hunt. One of my closest friends, Trinity taught me this patience. When you do find that hat, bike, record, vase, sweater, tea set.....somehow feel like you were meant to unite.

My newest find is the Lost & Found Market, it is one of the best I've ever been too. I left with a sequin hat for my self and an antique doll from Cyprus as a gift. I don't really have much room in my apartment but if I owned my own home, I would have bought some amazing pieces to decorate.
What is your favorite second hand shop or thrift store?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dagwood Dogs & Pink Poodles

Every week there seems to be a new exciting thing happening here in Melbourne, and this week was the Royal Melbourne Show. To my amazement it was very similar to the County Fair I am familiar with. I even discovered a new fried food called a Dagwood Dog. Its Australia's foot long version of an American corn dog. It was my first time going to the "show" and it did not disappoint.

Notice the giant pie on top on the red structure?

Mr. Dagwood thank you for your dogs...

The sweetest pink poodle at the Dog show, she just loved her 
tummy rubbed. 

Picnic by the river

Pack a lunch, bring a blanket, and invite some good company...

A friend of mine invited me to her little birthday celebration by the Yarra river the other day, it was such a great way to enjoy a lazy spring Sunday. We even had a few friendly Australian Kookaburra's hanging around because they love sausages!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Winter wonderland

This was my first winter since moving to Melbourne and I had to adjust to the cold weather. Living in Southern California all my life the most clothing I ever had to wear was jeans and light jacket, so this was tough for me.  I've finally revamped my wardrobe and have a bunch of knitted sweaters and wool jackets. Fortunately I was visiting the USA in June(summer there)  and I got some killer deals on winter clothes to wear here. Getting used to winter without christmas and all the fun holidays was hard too. But its finally spring and the sun is making an appearance, so I decided to put together a list of things that I did to stay warm during winter! 

#1 Bikram yoga

The room is heated to 105F/40C and the class is 90 mins, so it really warms up your core. By the time you are done you are drenched in sweat but you feel amazing, especially walking out into the crisp outside air. I attended Bikram Yoga Melbourne, brought my boyfriend along and he loved it. The casual class is beginner friendly and they offer Yoga mats for $1 if you don't have one. Because everyone is sweaty the class room gets kinda stinky but you get used to it. Drink plenty of water before and after!

#2 Make homemade soup

Soup is so easy to make and healthy. If you make a big pot of it you can even freeze the left overs and have it later! I made a homemade veggie broth first then used this Food Network's Alton Brown recipe. I like lots of veggies so I added onion, celery and peas to my version. 
Homemade stock is easy just put any veggies in a big pot of water with a little oil and salt to taste, bring to a boil then simmer until the veggies are soft(about an hour) and the water has color. I used potato peels, carrots, celery tops, and a half an onion. Try and use the scraps from the chopped veggies for the soup, to make your broth.

#3 GO ice skating

Put on a cute sweater, some gloves and get your butt on that Ice. I went to Medibank Icehouse and it was a great time. They also give you a 20% off your next visit when you purchase your tickets.

#4 Eat Szechuan

Szechwan (or Sichuan) Cuisine is from southwestern China, and uses lots of chillies and Szechwan peppercorns. They are cracked open and when you eat a dish that is cooked with them your mouth tingles. When mixed with the chillies is any dish is bound to warm you up!! I love spicy food so this was right up my alley. I recommend ordering some sort of coconut milk drink with your food! My favorite is Dainty Sichuan and we ordered the "mouth watering chicken" which is loaded with chillies!

#5 Make S'mores!

Fire Roast a marsh mellow(around a camp fire is best) on a metal stick until a little burnt, pull off and put on a cookie or graham cracker, add a piece of chocolate and top with another graham cracker. Yummo!
I showed my Australian family this little treat and they thought I was nuts at first, but they loved it! We did it right in the living room next to the fire place.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Market Explorer

Never living in a city with an outdoor market my whole 22 years of existence, I came to melbourne taken back by the sights and sounds of a REAL Market. When i say market I mean rows of fruit and veggie stalls with vendors screaming out deals of the day, butchers with fresh cut meat of all sorts, bakeries, delicatessens, occasional home-wares and clothing shops, and topped off with a cherry of amazing little cafe style eateries. If you have never been to one, you haven't lived. Melbourne has many but my favorite is the South Melbourne Market.

 The word on the street is this place has THE BEST
 Dim Sims in Melbourne (notice the line to get one)

 Vanilla and Strawberry Macaroons, So good they make you 
want to cry and laugh at the same time.
 This was by far the cutest Veggie stall there. And it was organic!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hangin out with Buddha and Andy...

A few favorites around my house...
Budai (Fat Buddha): Rub his belly for good luck, wealth and prosperity
 one of the first things I bought when I came to Melbourne last year. Special little man. I loved how he seemed so calm, because my life at the time was so hectic!
 Andy Warhol Special Edition Dom Perignon 2002 bottles, are perfect vases for some dried flowers.

"People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don’t look and it’s magic"
Andy Warhol

Monday, July 11, 2011

A day in Healesville

A while back I had a chance to go to a town about an hour east of Melbourne called Healesville. It is located in the Yarra Valley region, where many Australian wines are made. The end of Autumn was a beautiful time of the year to go, and there were a few trees still bright orange with color. We had lunch at the Healesville Hotel which was amazing. This is a perfect day trip but there are many little cottages to rent out for the weekend too.

My aussie boy.
The fireplace adorned with little American pumpkins at the hotel,
was a perfect way to stay warm.