Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heat Wave

I've neglected to fill my blog in on what's been happening since the end of 2016 - Brisbane is experiencing some extreme hot weather, I've gotten back into baking and calligraphy, I've caught up with a few lovely friends and have travelled 12,300 km to Singapore and back, and in doing so, rang in the lunar New Year many times over many meals. I rounded up recent photos and thought 'wow they're almost all photos of food' but hey what else is new?

Had breakfast at Cafe Brisbane with Daphne - the pancakes, fried eggs, bacon and coffee were a great combination to ring in returning to work for the new year.

Received a Fitbit HR 2 for Christmas and while it has reminded me how unfit I am, I have been motivated to be more active, push myself and move often. I renewed my work gym membership and have enjoyed how satisfying it is to make the requisite number of steps a day. The Fitbit buzzes every hour with a reminder to get up and take some steps to make up 250 steps an hour, which is handy in the office where I'm sedentary for longer than what is healthy.

Went to see the Hillsong Carols two nights in a row - first with my family and next with some old friends from North Shore (yes the tuition centre) days. I thoroughly enjoyed the carols; it was such a great show! The soloist who sang O Holy Night was so good - I got chills from her performance.

Took down the Christmas decorations at work from the floor-wide Christmas decorating competition. The competition was fierce; we did not snag the win because there were some real stunners across the floor despite our team's bipolar seasonal theme (North and South) and our real working fireplace.

Made a couple of Prima Taste meal kits- the Hainanese Chicken Rice was nice, but the Laksa is my absolute favourite. Singaporean laksa is almost impossible to find in restaurants in Brisbane and none of those Malaysian curry laksas compare to this prawn-based flavour.

Right before I left for my holiday we ventured down to Logan for this amazing breakfast - especially the hash browns - at St Coco, Daisy Hill. The coffee is great, the place is gorgeous and the food was yum.

Went to Little Red Dumpling and Sonder with Sam. Little Red Dumpling was alright, nothing to write home about, but Sonder was good. The anmitsu this time was better than I remembered - the mochi have changed since last time and I'm so glad because they were undercooked before but perfect this time.

Donto Sapporo at Broadbeach - I tried something with fish instead of getting the Sapporo bento and I think the Sapporo bento is still the best. Highly recommend if you want good value for lunch down the coast!

Went on a short hike chasing the best views and lookouts at Springbrook.

Spotted a rainbow in the waterfall at Purling Brook Falls and some daredevil random who jumped the barrier fence to sit on the edge. Good luck, mate.

Purling Brook Falls from a different vantage point.

Looking down Purling Brook Falls at the 10 km trail that we did not elect to trek.

One of the views of Mount Warning and the old forests of northern NSW from the Best Of All Lookout (yes it is actually called that). Highly recommend a visit if you don't mind the drive and don't want to walk very far!

Went to IKEA one evening, discovered they put on steak night (who knew?!) and came home with a minimalist coat and hat stand (link here!) which was easy to assemble and is proving very handy.

Revisited John Mills Himself for the first time in about a year and had some amazing coffee - came back with my sister and mum in tow the next day. I discovered Bunker about 4 years ago via Google and when they announced they were starting a sister shop in the city, I visited when it opened in Feb 2014 and loved the mood of the place. Highly recommend the coffee, and the hot chocolate if you don't drink coffee. Hands down the best hot chocolate ever- you can't get bored with the variety of flavours they can produce for hot chocolate!

Visited Cha Kee Too (RIP Madtongsan) and had baked pork chop rice and baked spaghetti with an iced Horlicks/Ovaltine. I think I like my Horlicks and Ovaltine separate, not combined.

I've included a couple of pictures taken on my trip to Singapore. The 4 kilometer trek through the MacRitchie Reservoir to get to the TreeTop Walk was so worth it - I loved the feeling of being so high up amongst the greenery!

Daphne is scared of heights and did not like the feeling of being so high up...

At the Singapore Art Museum for the Biennale, titled Atlas of Mirrors.

Early morning walks through the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Souvenir prayer pillow from Precious Thots and plushie iced gem biscuit from Naiise in Singapore.

Stocked up on HadaLabo cleanser, hydrating lotion, water gel cream, cleansing oil wipes, Biore sunscreen and tried La Roche-Posay Serozinc. I also got my hands on a Wet Brush, which has made such a difference to my hair routine, a Koji eyelash curler for wide eyes which is great, and a lot of sheet masks.

When we returned to Brisbane I was missing all the cheap Chinese food so we went to have breakfast at Sunnybank Oriental because I wanted congee. Love the breakfast and high tea at Oriental!

Mornings back at work fueled by coffee and vitamins.

New adorable linen from Target! And not only are they impossibly cute, they were so cheap! We got these for me and my sister and we chose a Tyrannosaurus-Rex-printed quilt cover set for my brother.

Vapiano $10 lunch specials! I tried the pizza because I had had pasta the night before but I think I prefer the pasta. I like to throw in the ham, spinach and mushroom additions for my pomodoro pasta lunches.

Went running and saw this rewarding view of the sleepy city putting down for the night.

Went to Roger David and initially got the New York print top in pink in XS and gave it to my sister because I wanted the grey one so much I went back and got it, along with these wacky socks.

Love Zen Corner wonton noodle soup!

Miel Container burger has started omitting the chips from the burger orders. It was rather unfortunate but the burgers are still good. I preferred it when the burgers were smaller and they came with chips.

Got this glass box from kikki.K on sale - love the copper/rose gold trend but I'm not sure how long it will last.

Spent this afternoon making walnut cinnamon buns with maple glaze. I like using Dan Lepard's recipe because it involves spicing the milk before mixing the dough. Time-intensive but baking with yeast is so satisfying!

Trying to give these unwanted packets of fondant icing some purpose - attempting to learn the art of making gumpaste flowers. I'm ordering some equipment to learn properly. ;)

Hats off to you if you got this far! I'll see you in the next one, most likely a Favourites post or a Singapore travel diary. 

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