29 October 2012

Halloween Festivities

My friends throw the best parties. Especially Halloween parties, with one of them being American you wouldn’t expect much less but this man really knows how to make a bunch of people party their socks off!

Last year this party was so cray it ended up on the news… a couple of times. But that’s another story.

Party starts at 7pm and if you ain’t on the list, security won’t let you in. 

There’s a hallway of terror, where you walk in groups of four through the entrance, between sheets hanging splattered with blood, cobwebs and ghosts and spiders everywhere. There are four guys stationed along the path that jump out at intervals and scare the living daylights out of you. One even pops up from under a gravestone on the ground. Certainly sets the scene for the evening!

Inside you find promo girls taking around nibbles and shots as well as two pole dancers who give out lessons to those tipsy enough to give it a go.
The entire house is decked out in Halloween decorations and of course the food is all themed too. They even imported red pool dye so the pool looked like it was bloody.  I thought I would have a go at making eyeball cupcakes and fanged teeth cookies! Cookies didn’t look too bad but the cupcakes on the other hand… something to work on for next year haha.

Needless to say the night gets messy reasonably quickly. And the party is all the better for it! The DJ starts playing and breaks at intervals for the band to jump on and have a jam. Dance floor is packed.

I was a sailor, and I was accompanied by the hulk and a sexy swashbuckler. I think we were all nearly hulks by the end of it due to the amount of green paint floating around!

Sexy swashbuckler decided to go sightseeing around the back of the house (as one does when drunk, merry and feeling adventurous) and instead found herself falling over and cutting up her knees! Poor thing had huge bruises and grazes the next day. Alcohol is such a good anaesthetic.

I found some pics of me ripping the Hulk’s top off.. the hulk does not wear a top!! But I have no recollection of this. Yay for pics telling me of the stupid antics I get up to when I’m drunk. Speaking of pics, how funny is looking at pictures the next morning? We were all crying laughing swapping pics in bed in the am.

Now what to dress up as next year??

26 October 2012

Sleep deprivation

I am so exhausted today that I found myself doing stupid stuff.

For instance, when I went to call my friend, much confusion ensued.
I began with just trying to call her… I was so confused as to why her name wasn’t in my phone. How could it have disappeared? I haven’t synced my phone lately? I haven’t used it for a while maybe it just… disappeared? Phones are strange things.
So I thought, I know, I’ll Facebook message her for her phone number. Except when I wrote her name in my search field, she wasn’t on there. I was thinking,why would she delete her facey? That’s strange.
That’s when I had an epiphany. Instagram. I would find her on Instagram and I would message her. No one deletes their Instagram. But low and behold, she was gone from there too.
I even messaged a mutual friend asking for her number. In the mean time I started googling her name and work place to try find her. Still to no avail. I was like geez I hope she is okay. Why would she delete all her accounts?
Nek minute…. I realised my absolute blondeness. Her name wasn’t spelt Yana, as it is said, but Jana!
I had her number, her facey and her instagram. **Hangs head in shame**

Earlier this evening I was in my room on the phone chatting away when I stopped listening briefly to my friend as I noticed a straw hat sitting on my TV.
I don’t have a straw hat. This one was pretty big, it looked like it had come from a Mexican fiesta. I’d definitely remember it.
Yet I have no idea where it could have come from or how long it has been sitting there. My only guess is that Kim, my crazy ex flatmate, may have placed it there while I was in the USA. I know I haven’t been around that much but how could I possibly not notice a random straw hat sitting on my TV? I have been home nearly three weeks. I sleep in that room every night. What other random items have I acquired and not noticed lately? Who knows? Obviously not me.
Kim can you please confirm or deny placement of said hat?

Now I wouldn’t say I’m an avid cook or baker or whatever but I can make some mean cupcakes.
 I have a Halloween party tomorrow night so I thought I would bake some cupcakes (vanilla & strawberries and cream) to ice as eyeballs (will post in next blog they should be awesome!)
So there I was going about my business mixing up some mean muffins and I came to the bit where I had to add the butter.
Next 5 minutes are spent looking for butter in the fridge when there is obviously none. I find margarine – and brainwave! I’ll use that. Then I think but how do I measure out 60grams?
I swear I’m not usually like this.
I have made these many times before with margarine. So I start trying to workout percentages.. but my tub isn’t even so how can I possibly make an accurate measurement? Next thought – I will find out how much a Teaspoon has in it and I will just add them up to 60g. Head to google then realise I have measuring spoons in the draw that I can easily use. Duh.

So now I have illustrated my stupidness for the day I will stop delaying sleep and go ninise so I can go cray tomorrow night at the Halloween party and hopefully be smart (ish) again.

Ahoy Sailor ;)

23 October 2012

Head over heels in Love.

Don’t get too excited, it’s not me.

Have you ever spent time with someone who is just gushing with happiness after meeting the man/women of their dreams? Someone who you never thought would gush and blush and fall over their own feet from being distracted by their other half?

My lovely friend, who I have known for some time, and I adore, has fallen head over heels in love. Literally. I swear if this girl wasn’t so damn bright she would have no idea where she was going as her brain has suddenly been taken over by this burning passion.

She is suddenly glowing, and her mood is infectious. In the last week I have spent two nights with her and after both, my cheeks hurt from smiling at her stories and I felt like skipping down the road. I’m not a skipper. Well, not in my sober life anywho… point being she is spreading the love baby. It oozes from her very core.

The normally semi-reserved but kept high on guard women has been overtaken by this lady who is glowing with happiness and whose eyes glaze over as she remembers all the little details of her man. As much as I would like to say it is sickening, it’s not. I think it’s the most wonderful thing.
God. Now I sound like I am gushing.

It really is lovely to see her so happy though. And it does make me ponder my life… does that really happen? Do you really meet someone and BOOM! Goneski. You’re theirs and they’re yours and that’s the end?
Love at first sight? I duno. Is a fairy-tale really a fairy-tale because it is just that? A fairy tale? I am certainly sceptical. It’s not that I’m not a lover… I’d love to love. It just doesn't seem to happen all that often. Or at all… I tend to like a couple of people at once, never anything serious. Sorry guys if you’re reading. In fact I’ve even managed to stay single for the last 5 years. Too picky most likely but that is another story.

Anyway… I love to see my friend so happy and it compelled me to write this.

Time will tell. And I shall tell you in another blog J

Mitoki –Kangaroo Point

Nestled in the heart of Kangaroo Point, diagonally across from the Story Bridge Hotel, you will find Mitoki. A cute little open aired Japanese restaurant with iPads to order from. The staff are of course, all Japanese and as they all are, extremely polite and sweet.

To celebrate their first birthday Mitoki had 15 of their favourite Tapa’s for $5 a plate. High five for us! Here we were expecting to pay a fairly decent amount for a nice meal and they say $5.. we say 10 please!

We started with 3 plates of the grilled salmon sushi, our personal favourite. I love the stuff.
Of course I had to get the gyoza, which to be honest wasn’t as nice as it could have been. The edge of the pastry was a bit dry or hard and the meat wasn’t amazing.

This was followed by Octopus balls which hilariously J, who hadn’t tried Takoyaki before, decided to put all but the whole ball in her mouth… followed by her gagging and spitting it out with ‘there’s something in it!’ Of course there is something in it, it’s an octopus ball! It has octopus in it! She didn’t like the feeling of the tentacles against her tongue evidently.
We also had edamame (a staple) and beef carpaccio (which was very similar totataki) with an Asahi beer. Nom.

The cheap tapa's deal runs until the 27th October and then the prices are back to normal.. So go there.. go there now!

Mitoki Japanese Modern Tapas on Urbanspoon

21 October 2012

Wagaya - You like eel, right?

I've wanted to go to Wagaya in Fortitude Valley for quite a while.

So after the disappointing draw of the Bledisloe Cup, we were happy to find it still open.

Wagaya has an awesome interior, sleek dark wooden booths that are private and contribute to creating a cool ambience.
It had touch screen menus, which are quite funky and savvy but some would argue take away from the excellent traditional Japanese service that we have grown used to.

The gyoza were delicious. I love dumplings a get them wherever I go and these ones were very good. Highly recommend.

The sushi however was average. You can definitely find better for cheaper in Brisbane.
We shared a The lightly grilled salmon sushi, a spider roll and a dragon roll.

In the picture on the menu the dragon roll looked like it was covered in salmon so I ordered it in a rush from the screen as the kitchen was closing at 11.15pm.
When the plate was delivered I asked the waiter what was on the sushi as it definitely wasn't salmon. Turned out it was eel.
I have tried smoked eel as a kid... But this just did not look appetizing, even covered in BBQ sauce and sesame seeds. I wasn't game to try it first so Nikita took the plunge.. The look on her face was priceless.
A look of disgust and horror followed by 'no, no, no, nope' combined with vigorous head shaking confirmed that it was a gross as it looked.
Once she told me it had the texture of fat with the smell and taste of strong fish there was no way that any was going past my lips!!

So if you just want some dumplings and a cool interior head here. If you're after more than that, there are many other Japanese restaurants in Brizzy that would satisfy your cravings.

Wagaya on Urbanspoon

Blue and Orange Cafe Bondi

Blue and Orange Cafe is hidden away about two blocks from Bondi Beach...

Go there.
Order the Fresh linguine with pesto, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and chicken.
Partner with a glass of Little Creatures beer.

That is all.

Blue Orange on Urbanspoon

18 October 2012


Can't believe I haven't been to this place before!

Seriously, with my love of Japanese food and endless searches for good restaurants you'd think I would have stumbled across it by now.

It has an Japanese feel to it, except had it been in Japan it wouldn't be so spacey. Love the atmosphere and surroundings. You need to be okay with loud noise though, its definitely not a quiet dining experience.
It even has a VIP room... Not quite sure how you would become VIP there or what it would entitle you considering meals are $30...

So anyway for $30 you can have all you can eat sushi & hot pot.
You are seated at your table and your waiter explains how the system works.

The sushi is a buffet, simply choose What you like with what condiments and ta daaa you're off! It's fresh and there's a good variety.

The hot pot you cook yourself at your table. There's a hole in front of you to put the pot in once it's full of your choice of ingredients.
Choosing from vegetable, miso or Tom yum soup to begin you then add your veggies and choice (or choices) of meat.

I went for a miso soup with fresh blue crab, bok choy, mushrooms, bean sprouts and red onion to keep it simple. Was delish.

If you leave any food on your table you are charged $20. A good initiative to ensure that food isn't wasted.

Shabuhouse on Urbanspoon

14 October 2012

Reality Bites/ Post-Holiday Blues

Post-Holiday Blues is a real condition. I swear.

As this article reports “The post-holiday blues might not (yet) be a recognised syndrome but it is something that darkens the first few days after a break for many of us.” The article also provides tips for getting through this difficult time. You can read them HERE. I have been reading them over and over and over…haha

But in all seriousness, it’s not that bad. There are some things I am thankful to be home for. My own bed is one, followed closely by normal food with normal portion sizes and no ‘bags to coach at 7.45am’.

The things I miss from my holiday far outweigh the niceties of being home in Brisvegas though. I miss my new friends the most. And Gemma of course, who is back in Perth slaving away at the mines. We met some awesome people on our trip and after spending all day with them on Contiki for 8-11 days it is sad not to be able to pop down the hall to their hotel room for a chat.. or a beverage… or ten beverages. Thank-god for Facey!! Yewww!

After my new friends, I miss not having my bed made daily, all my food prepared for me, having to organise my own transportation… I'm making myself sound rather lazy here, I better stop there.

Luckily I didn't have to go back to work the day after I returned from the USA as originally planned. Since I resigned while I was away it was decided it would be best that I didn’t return to my old position at the Brisbane Lions and made a clean break. It’s been lovely being a ‘lady of leisure’ this week! I have pretty much done nothing, but still managed to hardly be at home? Not sure how that works…

To recover from my post-holiday blues it is advised to think of things you have to look forward to… ironically all I can think of are my next holidays…

  • NZ for a week in exactly one month for a wedding when I am bridesmaid and will see my family
  • NZ for a week at Christmas a month after that
  • Thailand for New Years 2013
  • Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for the weekend of 18 January.
  • My next trip to America… hopefully soon! Anyone wanna come?

Anyway starting my new job tomorrow, must go organise an outfit!

10 October 2012

San Francisco.. The welcome city

The welcome city in that everyone is welcome. Hence the huge population of homeless that reside on the streets. I swear you get high just walking down the street from passive weed smoking. Snoop Dogg would love it. I was pretty much floating around the whole time I was there.
Story goes that in the 60's some guy turned up to a street party with a whole heap of weed and LSD which he gave out to everyone for free. They had a great time party time and consequently didn't want to go back to work and became addicted to the drugs. Not sure how true that is but that's what our tour guide told us.
I have never seen so many homeless people. I'm not sure if we were just staying in a dodgy area or what but they were everywhere. They don't really attempt to make any communication with you. They just smoke and lie on the side of the street with their trolley full of their only possessions. Ironically, this is right by downtown which is where the most upmarket stores are - Gucci, Prada, Chanel etc.
San Francisco is also home to the most billionaires after only three other cities in the world.

Unfortunately for us it was Fleet week and the city was swamped with the Navy, Army and other military organizations. This meant that the street cars, buses and cable cars were all full, with huge waits. It was difficult to get around the city and piers as it was so crowded.
We ended up only doing the organized tours with our crew as we were now exhausted and still drinking every night.
When we arrived we did a city tour on the bus, stopping at famous sites such as Pier 39, the houses where Full House was filmed and museums etc.

Our hotel itself was lovely, if not in the best area.
I could have spent the two days just in that bed! It was huge with the softest egyptian cotton sheets and about 6 pillows of various shapes and sizes. Ahhhhh **sighs**

We headed to Bubba Gumps (of the movie, it's a restaurant chain here) for dinner. Gemma and I sat with a Korean girl from our tour and the tour manager. It made for a hilarious evening. My meal was delicious, Cajun shrimps for starters and Scampi for my appetizer - yes they call mains appetizers, talk about confusing, no wonder I ate so much really!
If you ever visit Bubba Gumps try a pomegranate punch cocktail, sooo yummy and full enough of alcohol to get you going for the night!

We then headed to an irish pub to continue the drinking, which of course with Fleet week, was full of boys in uniform- much to the delight of the girls on our tour!
I may have danced the night away with a Navy hat on. So trusting of them to let me have their hat for the night!

More shopping in downtown on Sunday as again the lines for transport were huge. I was spending all the rest of my USD so had quite the merry time!

That night we had purchased tickets to watch a Kiwi band, six60, with some of the other crew from the tour. When we asked the hotel how to get there, their response was 'why would you go there?' So we already knew it wasn't going to be the best venue.
There was only one toilet, which, had the choice, I wouldn't have used! The place was so packed you could barely move, let alone get a drink.
Speaking of which, free pour is a killer. Two of my drinks I couldn't even drink due to the amount of vodka in them. They were all but straight. Makes for a cheap night out though!
Anyway it was all worth it to see six60 perform their little hearts out at such an intimate venue.
For a tiny, dingy venue in the middle of nowhere in San Francisco, it was full of Kiwis. The atmosphere was awesome and the band really interacted with the crowd.
After the gig the boys all stuck around an we had a whole heap of photos with the band. I felt like a bit of a groupie so hung back a bit but some of the others had no problem playing the role of a groupie!
Hilariously, the biggest groupie of them all wasn't one of us girls but one of the boys from our tour. He followed them round like a star struck puppy. He even hung out with them while they packed their vans an tried to go back to their hotel haha.
We finally got a 'taxi' which was actually a town car back to the hotel, and on the ride, Raul, the groupie, thought it would be appropriate to question our driver about the size of his 'dong' as he was a black man. The driver couldn't stop laughing, especially when Raul farted and tried to keep all the windows up!
At subway I managed to drop my MAC lipstick under the soft drink dispenser and in my drunken state thought it would be a fantastic idea to lie on the floor for a bit with a straw to try get it out. I succeeded but damn was I filthy!

Yesterday was our last day in the USA after 37 incredible, crazy days.
I am left fat, exhausted and broke but happy!

2 October 2012

Grand Canyon - alcohol at altitude.

Did you know that drinking at altitude affects the way you respond to alcohol? I know now.

Grand Canyon is an amazing place. We started our trip in Sedona, a gorgeous town which is in completely muted and natural tones so that the beauty of the land is showcased.

We ate some cactus chips, yup made of real cactus! They spine and remove the prickles then soak the flesh overnight in buttermilk then coat in a spiced batter, fried and served with a prickly pear sauce. I wouldn't say they were yum.. They were interesting...

Next up on the agenda was a 4x wheel open jeep ride through the outback. I have never had so much red dust up my nose. Actually, I've never had red dust up my nose.
The driver was hilarious, taking the piss out of everyone and telling little jokes and stories.

The terrain is rough, red dust & stones on the path with cactus and shrubbery taking over the ground. The guy was a speed freak, driving like a maniac to our delighted squeals. He said he wanted to make us scream. I told him he would have to do a lot more than that to make me scream haha I think everyone on the jeep blushed. The conversation went downhill from there and I was in tears with laughter about ten times.

After the group photo all the guides were mucking around talking about rattle snakes, next minute one of them threw a fake rubber snake in the middle of us. Gemma, only looking after herself, literally jumped on top of me screaming. I have bruises on my shoulders!

I had been feeling particularly average all day, probably due to drinking for 3days and having about 3hours sleep a night, so decided to have a quiet night. Good choice on my behalf considering we were up at 6.15am ready for our helicopter ride the next morning!

We chose groups to go on the helicopters with and arrived at the airport. When they weighed me I told them not to let me know how much I weighed, I didn't want to know as I'm sure I've put on about 10kg from this holiday!
I ended up being called into a different group to what we had chosen and we were taken away to their sister airport. Turned out we had been upgraded, yay. However when we arrived at the airport I was handed a sheet of paper with our names and details on it.. Including out weights. As bad as I had expected. Yay for unlimited hot yoga and no alcohol when I get home!

The helicopter ride was incredible and the pictures just don't do justice whatsoever to how huge and amazing it is. It constantly changes colour in the light and we were lucky enough to get a perfectly clear morning.
I was seated at the front of the helicopter, by the pilot, with floor to ceiling windows. Perfect.
Our flight was 45minutes, sweeping over the national forest then descending into the canyon itself. An awesome experience and though expensive, definitely worth the money.

Back at the cabins, yes we were staying in full on log cabins, very cute, we decided to go for a hike along the rim, going down into the canyon. We had been warned that it would be very easy going down and really hard hiking back up. They were right. Thankfully we listened and only went down for half an hour as it was an hour walking back up. Worth it though for the incredible views.

Did I mention it's tarantula mating season? Evidently they come out to the road to sunbathe during the day. My dreams were haunted by spiders and I kept waking up freezing, it's 2degrees at night and 26 during the day.

Fast forward to the evening and we headed as a group to Hopi Point, a lookout where we had a picnic and watched the sunset. As you can imagine it was gorgeous. We proceeded to have a couple of drinks before heading to the pub. As I mentioned earlier, drinking at altitude certainly enhances the effects. My legs felt so very heavy and I hadn't realized how fast the alcohol had kicked in. Drinking in America is so cheap, my bloody mary's were only $5.50 each. So I drank a few. And a few more.
The army boys thought it would be a good idea to lead us through the forest home, prob not the best idea but we made it. We actually made it to a cabin party... There were people everywhere, chairs being thrown, boys wrestling, wedgies so bad they ripped undies off, bottles of water thrown around. Great night! Until the security came and at which point all 15 or so of us tried to hide under the bed... Then ran and hid in some random bushes for a bit haha awesome.