#342 Blissful views opposite Kirks

Last time, it was cold, windy and daylight savings was not on our side.

This evening, there was a mild warmth. It was still. And daylight savings in summer, is still around.

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After dinner at Kirks, with the extended sunlight on show, we headed on down the sandy steps below, to find a secluded piece of outstretched beach. It is called Royal Beach.

I was royally unprepared. I had wedges on, and simply watched, clenching baby girl’s hand as we walked down the steep decline to the beach, while Hubbie pranced about deliberately on the sand far below us, waving to us and making us both totally jelly.

He came back and asked baby girl if she wanted him to carry her (“why of course Dad, that is no question!” – she hates stuff getting in her sandals!) and then I stood on a patch of grass at the bottom of the decline and took some pretty snaps of them in the distance.

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Apparently it’s a dog beach. It is beautiful. I’d love come back with them one day soon and walk along the beach when I have more appropriate footwear.

The Peninsula. Discovering beautiful beaches, one blissful day at a time.

The Peninsula. Discovering that you need a pair of thongs in your car boot AT ALL TIMES.

#341 Hubbie’s home/work proximity

After our holidays in early Jan, Hubbie started a new job, right in town.

It’s fantastic. Rather than spending 2 and a half hours driving to and fro to work, every day as he used to, he now spends a total of 20 minutes.

Return trip. That is awesome.

And as he has an hour break for lunch, he surprised us today by coming home for it.

Even though it was constant as we quickly ate, had a coffee, and shared some words over the kitchen table… it was so nice to see his face mid-day, and know that it was only a matter of hours ’til we would see it again.

Ahhh 🙂

#340 Mills beach

We went over unprepared.

Just to ‘test’ the waters.

It was our first time as a family to Mills Beach in Mornington. Baby girl and I had been there once, months ago, and after I had had to chase her down the beach on multiple occasions, leaving all our belongings lying in the sand for any old seagull to snap up, I realised I couldn’t go with just her. It was a tad too hard.

Today, it was better. Not just because Hubbie was with us. The water was calmer, and the shallow waters seemed to stretch out for ages. Also, having the beach full, swimming with lifeguards, and inflatable boats about, along with the lovely warm water, made the atmosphere that much more pleasing.

We decided we would be back. Arnie style.

I mean, we lived BY the beach. This is the reason why we moved. We wanted a relaxed beach lifestyle. It wasn’t like we had to plan for the whole day, take the kitchen sink and more with us, and commit ourselves to a 5 hour stay at least because of the 90 minute drive – one way.

No. We were around the corner. If we wanted to go home and then come back 3 times like that, we sure as hell could.

Why live by the beach, when you can’t even enjoy it, and its benefits???

Hours later, and sure enough, I found myself here.

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I had a few minutes to myself. I lay down to soak up some rays, and closed my eyes, bringing my arm over my face to shield my exposed face from the direct afternoon sun.

Conversations floated over to me from left, from right. Seagulls called. There was also music in the distance. I could hear Hubbie’s voice drifting over to me from the water, as he told baby girl not to splash other people.

I breathed in. I breathed out.

Then I felt something wet dripping on my leg. I sat up. Hubbie was trickling sand over me.

“Your turn.”

It was good while it lasted. But, living in this seaside location, I know it will last, a long while yet…

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#339 The cousins over

Hubbie and I went to a bit of effort tonight. And really, I don’t even like to make a big deal about it, I only mention it for the sake of explaining it for this post. We did it though, because we wanted to.

Family is important to me. Family is important to both of us. And as much as I love my cousins and I know they love me, and our respect and appreciation for each other is mutual, I am content in the knowledge that my Hubbie, also, LOVES my cousins.

And they, wholeheartedly, LOVE him.

Quite a few of them came over tonight to see our new digs. It was a busy night, and I had many “you didn’t have to go to this much trouble” comments.

I know I didn’t have to. But I wanted to. I don’t do that shit for anyone. When I want to do something, I do it.

And when I won’t can’t, I call up the local pizza joint.

Along with my sis and her fam, we all had a smashing time, I’m sure of that. There was serious convo, light topics, laughter, dancing, singing, and eating and drinking a plenty.

I’m blessed to have such wonderful and loving family, and I’m also glad that they wanted to spend their Saturday night at our house.

Time is precious for EVERYONE. Watch for who willingly calls you up and asks to come over.

The action itself, speaks volumes.

#338 Taking a break

I’m fortunate enough to be able to work alongside some pretty cool views. It’s not often that I am able to appreciate them though.

You know, ‘work’ and all.

You know, temperamental Melbourne weather and all.

Which makes the converging of Summer, and holidays, all the more exciting. Warm and comfortable days, relaxing walks due to not-so-pressing work matters, makes for some… ahhh moments.

While heading out to grab a coffee at work today, I was on my own and without any of my fellow work colleagues/coffee lovers, so I took a longer than normal break to just, you know.

Sip coffee and watch.

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Breathe in.

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Observe the glistening water.

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And ponder that while I’m at work, I’m by the water.

And when I’m at home, I’m also, by the water.

And yet I’m a Lion that loves to bathe in the sunshine.

Always the contradiction.

It was a small, yet tranquil moment, and I took it in while it lasted. Then back to the office I went with my Blended Beard firmly in hand.

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It’s all about the small things. It always is. Because they add up to the greater whole.

#337 Food Truck festival fun

The Mornington Food Truck festival runs from now, up until Sunday the 29th of January. We ventured over this evening with the MIL, to check out the digs and of course, grab some food truck food.

I had the meaty paella:

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Honestly, for $12 it was underwhelming. (Foodie SmikG is coming out now) I only had one prawn in my container, the portion was meagre at best, and though it was spicy and had some good kick, seriously for that price I expected more than two spoonfuls with a sprinkling of rocket on the side.

Yes, I know we’re eating from trucks, people. But the quality of food FROM food trucks has increased substantially in the last few years, something most people in Melbourne would be well aware of. Anyway.

Baby girl had some chips, Hubbie a steak sandwich, and the MIL also went the burger route, as we sat within the greenery alongside the racecourse, under the shelter of the grand old trees, feeling the cool evening breeze sweep in.

There were rides as well, which baby girl and I participated in yet again… yep, the teacup ride. And baby girl saw some clown heads moving slowly side to side, which she wasn’t too sure about so she just let Mum and Dad win her a prize. Those open clown mouths are pretty scary.

It was a pleasant evening, and to be honest despite the paella, I just wanted to be out and about amongst people enjoying MY town. Nothing gripes me more than seeing people from out of town enjoying our precinct, knowing that we can’t due to time restrictions and work commitments! So just by being there tonight, I was happy.

Grateful. 🙂

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And to top off the night? We took home some Nutella-centred churros from another food truck, and had them at home… they were still deliciously warm and crunchy, nom nom nom.

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(Apologies for the photo, the churros tasted a 1000 times better than what is actually shown).

It was the food highlight of the night, and a lovely way to end our evening adventure.

#336 Moorooduc to Mornington steam train

With the school holidays still around for a few days more, the silly season has meant the addition of some extra events and festivities to keep the littlies amused… and one of them is the January Moorooduc to Mornington steam train.

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I’m led to believe that the steam train runs the first 3 Sundays of each month, however with the school holiday season upon us, a few sessions were introduced each Wednesday in January, with the final day being today.

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When I heard about the idea I knew it would be absolutely perfect for baby girl. She is a girly girl in some respects: she carries a bag around, likes to wear dresses, and will let me put bows in her hair; but on the other hand, she will throw and catch a mean ball, run you up and down until you are exhausted, and will play the hell out of her lego blocks and trains.

She LOVES trains.

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We headed over to Moorooduc station for the departure at 11:45am today, with the approximately 15 minute train ride taking us to Mornington station, and then back again to Moorooduc, once the engine had come around and joined onto the other end of the train carriages.

We had as much fun as baby girl. Where she gained an immense amount of happiness and pure joy from the tooting of the train, the steam sound being released, and the side to side, back and forth rocking motion in the carriages, we gained a deep appreciation of the vehicle that had been used to transport people in the carriages, so, so many years ago. To think that people generations ago had been in the carriage we had sat in, and travelled to various places, had been doing various things, and had been living a totally different life to what we live now, is almost mind-boggling. We were in a train that was built in 1941! That in itself is incredible. It is humbling. At one point I turned to Hubbie and said “I feel like I’m in Back to the Future… part 3.”

:):):)

My favourite moment of the trip came when I had my head out the window here:

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It gave me such a sense of relaxation, freedom, and a whimsical remembrance of childhood and all the frivolity and fun it embodied, that I was brought to tears, in thinking of how lucky we were to be living and experiencing a beautiful part of our state, and appreciating life in a whole new way now.

The drive home afterwards was slightly unnerving, and as much as I love my car, being in a vehicle lacking all character, doing 100 on a highway, felt alien. I had felt alive on the steam train, connected with life and nature and being, and I wanted to go back to that moment. I thought of all the things I wanted to do on the Peninsula, and which I had already done but wanted to revisit  – Arthur’s Seat chairlift; wineries; coastal walks; beach days – and realised this was something my soul was yearning. I had to connect to the world, to nature, to life, to a general sense of honesty, and my trip in the steam train this morning had certainly woken me up to that.

We had a truly terrific day today, even following our steam train ride, and although much of the later part was spent doing groceries and house jobs, I felt so happy and invigorated, that really, I believe our steam train ride put us in the right frame of mind this morning.

It set us on track. Pun intended.

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#335 Shooting hoops at dusk

We’ve been planning to do it for months now. You’d think the time delay was because it was a decent drive – no. A short two-minute trip down the road, if that.

I saw the opportunity tonight. We hadn’t eaten out as we originally planned, and seeing the cool night enclosing in on us, suggested we go out after dinner to get out of the house.

A couple hours later and we jumped into the car with the big orange ball. Baby girl squealing in excitement.

We parked in a car park side street and then walked the short distance to the open-gated entry off the main road, passing large magpies and perilously tall trees that shadowed us as we walked beneath them. In the last 2o metres, Hubbie and baby girl couldn’t wait – they bolted off.

This court had nets. This was apparently a BIG DEAL in Hubbie’s book.

Hubbie run up and down the length of the court, zig-zagging this way, turning that way, spinning around and jumping in the air. “Jordan shoots, he scores!” he shouted in an American accent. He picked up baby girl as she tried to heave the basketball ball up and into the basket, but it missed by a decent bit, she’d need to grow slightly taller and bigger for that to happen.

Still she loved it. She rolled it around instead.

I took the opportunity when the ball bounced my way, taking shots, getting some in while others bounced away toward outreaching hands. I’d rather watch sport than participate in it anytime, but I took pleasure in running around with the two of them as they went a bit silly, laughing and telling them to stop running so fast, until of course baby girl fell and scraped her knee.

But that’s not unusual. Just another badge of honour for her.

“This one’s from when I was playing basketball.”

“This one’s from when I was trying to wet Dad with the hose and instead tripped over it.”

“This one’s from when I was trying to help Mum push the bin up the driveway.”

Her fall concluded our short trip to the courts, but we had had some good family fun, exerted some much-needed fuel, and made such great memories that we vowed, we would be back very soon.

 

#334 Tabbouleh from The Kitchen Passport

It’s always a really satisfying feeling when you find a ‘keeper’ recipe. More so when it’s simple, fresh, healthy AND incredibly moorish.

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to help a fellow blogger out a while back, who needed testers for a cookbook she wanted to publish of recipes that she had gathered and been inspired by from her around-the-world travels.

Back then with the help of my trusty assistant baby girl, we dished up the Chocolate Filled Donuts – to rave reviews from us all in the household – and only a few weeks ago did I receive the final cookbook edition in the mail, something I had been eagerly looking forward to.

Tonight I made tabbouleh, with my eyes on Jess’ falafel recipe for later on in the week. The tabbouleh was amazing, such a simple yet wow dish, and Hubbie could not stop going back for more.

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If you’re interested in purchasing the book, more details can be found here. I highly recommend it, and cannot wait to try out some more!

Oh. And page 23. Just sayin’.

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#333 Bunnings

I never thought Bunnings could be a place that women could enjoy, until I had a house of my own.

I mean, what did I need to do with nails? Other than paint them?

Electrical appliances were only for the kitchen and bathroom, NOT the garage.

And ladders were only good for when I needed to climb up and get that other pair of pants.

However, over the years I’ve gained a newfound appreciation of the renovation giant, and only until we recently moved did I realise that I’ve really come to enjoy our Bunnings visits.

It may, or may not have to do with the fact that our house needs a massive makeover, and every time I walk into the store, just the vision of how our house could be like gets me all excited. Just saying.

It’s not like I’m any kind of handy-woman. But as I just walk there, like a project manager, pointing to things while Hubbie picks them up and baby girl puts them in her tiny trolley, well it is FUN.

There is so much that you can do to a house, I think even experienced handymen would find it overwhelming at times when venturing into a Bunnings store, what with all the choices on offer. It’s just amazing what you can find. I find myself getting inspiration for future projects while there, and also find myself realising we need to renovate things in our house that I didn’t yet EVEN KNOW we had to renovate.

Because Hubbie ends up with the task of actually doing all the home improvements, I walk around beside him as a kind of cheerleader, urging him on and creating all kinds of wonderful visions for our future home.

“Give me a doorstop!”

“Give me some cement nails!”

“Give me a hose stand!”

“Give me some hallway sensors!”

Meanwhile baby girl careens around dangerously with her little trolley, Bunnings balloon in one hand, only allowing us to put into “her” trolley what she finds acceptable. We end up with tiny objects in her trolley, while Hubbie and I walk around with arms full of stuff.

Today in particular, my cheerleading tune was like this:

“Give me a tent!”

“Give me some lightbulbs!”

“Give me a shower head!”

“Give me a plunger!”

(The plunger is a ‘in case of emergency’ item… don’t ask how the motivation to buy it came about).

And although we buy these items a lot faster than it takes to actually implement and integrate them into our home (those doorstops we bought over a month ago are still in the laundry), the fact of the matter is we feel we are doing something, and eventually, we will get to everything. But hopefully, the plunger is never, EVER used. Ever.