#963 Royal Love

Why do I love this place soooo much?

Is it the spectacular views from across the road?



Is it the amazing food that we get from within its premises?


Well it is surely both. I love The Royal Hotel, and it has become a firm favourite in our family.

But I loved something else a little more today.

I loved our impromptu decision to go there in the final hours of the day.

Because there is nothing better in a bought dinner, than one that you didn’t expect until the very last second.



Oh, and dessert too πŸ˜‰

#938 Ticking it off the list.


Eat Sleep Daniel’s Repeat. That’s the tag line of this exceptionally popular doughnut shop in Springvale, Victoria. It stays true to its motto, as it is actually open 24/7.

I mean, that’s A LOT of doughnuts.

We were in the area today, and having heard about them through friends and social media, as well as being very curious ourselves being doughnut lovers and all, we thought we would check them out.

The line was out the door. Which isn’t that incredible to believe, seeing as the shop is wide more than it is deep, so if you take a few steps in you’re already at the counter. The only way to line up IS out the door. But still, an impressive sight as I walked up.

$15 for 6! Well, why the hell not?! I was only going to get 3 doughnuts, but then seeing the line, and realising we probably wouldn’t go back there for a while, I thought I may as well make it worth my time.

From top right clockwise: Nutella custard, custard, snickers, Bueno chocolate, M&Ms, and Jam and Cream – their best seller.

Baby girl and I walked back to the car confidently and happily, content that we had secured our 6 pack amongst so many others that day.

But… then we had them.

And I don’t wanna burst any bubbles. They were good. But…


They were about the same as our Mornington Rebel Donuts. No actually, I think I prefer Rebel’s. There was no defining characteristic that made me wanna line up the door for these.

And they were nowhere near as good as the actual real Nutella doughnuts (or any doughnuts there for that matter) of Chocolat’s off the Main street in Mornington.

If you want a REAL bakery style doughnut, this will BLOW YOUR MIND.

The best there is.

So, I am glad I tried Daniel’s today. I am grateful because it means I can tick that foodie to-do off of my ever-growing to eat and drink list…

And by ticking it off, I can focus on the places I actually want to go back to, time and time again. Like Chocolat. πŸ™‚



#937 Saturday night Pancakes

Hubbie thought I was a bit mad.

It was past 9pm, and here I was all comfy in my pjs, getting ready to head into the kitchen and make pancakes for dessert.

It was a promise after all. We had stumbled upon the topic of pancakes the night before, when baby girl had asked if I could make them tonight… I had said “after dinner,” and so it came to be, that my clever 5 year-old did NOT forget what I had said.

Not when it comes to PANCAKES.

Hubbie had thought we were soooo insane. “You’re making pancakes now? After all we’ve eaten? At this time?”





We indulged in jam and Nutella toppings, sprinkled generously with berries and bananas, and the late dessert started off an upside-down ‘whatever’ kind of night.

The footy was on in the background, broken up by my random calls for the players to “catch that ball!”

Sia’s Christmas album argued for top spot in the audio department too, as baby girl had decided to put her on the stereo super early for the year, or super late for last year, whichever way you wanna look at it. (Then again baby girl makes sure the album makes an appearance at least once a month).

Hubbie had randomly decided to sort his CD collection, high on his recent cold/flu tablets suddenly kicking in and giving him some much needed energy.

ALL the lights were on.

And it was just super awesome. And it all started with pancakes. Genius.

#890 The best Sisters day

I say the above confidently, and strongly, because although today was the absolute BEST, I know in my heart our share of BEST days will only get better and better as the times and the years roll on.

I am talking about times shared with my Sister.

Every time we do them, we always say they are long overdue. And they are – what with life and responsibilities, tasks and chores, Hubbies and kids, we always feel like finding time for ourselves, comes last.

But with the kids getting older, we are trying to become wiser.

By putting ourselves first. (Not always, or else the earth may tilt on its axis. No, we can only be selfish every once in a while πŸ˜‰ ).

Because when we fill up our own energy and enthusiasm, zest for life and happiness restores, then we become better wives, mothers, friends, colleagues, and confidantes.

And who better to fill up your reserves with, than your Sister?

It started off with coffee, as all great days do…


And then we headed over to Mornington Pier on what was a tremendously windy and cold July day, to ‘freshen up’ our senses and REALLY FEEL ALIVE, before indulging in a comforting and decadent lunch.



Those views. Just because you need some more…


But it wasn’t the food or drink or dessert that made today amazing. Nor was it the savagely beautiful waves crashing against the pier, in amidst the stormy and temperamental ocean backdrop. No, it was simply, the company. Having someone to talk to, share your deepest secrets and desires and thoughts with, retelling happy occasions and past laughs, getting all deep and meaningful and just talking about all aspects of life… well that was the best part of the day. That was the soul nourishing bit. This is the type of stuff you live for. These are the connections you are meant to make.

These are the most important people in your life.

Which is why every day I spend with my sister, is the BEST day ever. ALWAYSΒ β™₯β™₯β™₯

#798 Coffee breaks heal ALL

A new one in this series, only because there are so many time that a coffee visit can help:








A big weekend, EVEN

All of the above!

Today the instigating feelings were fatigue, soreness and crankiness


Who was with me on said coffee break? Why none other than my Hubbie and baby girl.

And the site of said coffee break? Via Boffe, with my initial review of the place done here. They have moved up considerably in my eyes since, with consistently good coffee, and sweet and petite desserts that are just enough, and yet somehow have you craving for another visit.


#795 Strawberry crumble

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

When life gives you a kilo of strawberries for $2, you make Strawberry Crumble


The above is the result of a stallholder packing up from Main St market day yesterday, and trying to offload his last two punnets of strawberries to someone, anyone, the first Tom, Dick or Nancy that dared to humour him and look at him twice.

So when Hubbie glanced over at him as we waited for baby girl to get her fill of a small play area off to the side of the street, the man wasted NO TIME.

“Sir, a kilo of strawberries for $2!”

I fished out a gold coin, and was soon wondering how I would use up a whole lot of quickly maturing strawberries.

The answer came to me in my Nigella cookbook later that night. A crumble? Hmmm…

I questioned it only slightly as I poured in the sugar this evening. 100 grams Nigella? Ain’t this too much? And then another 75 grams of Demerara, in that mix too?


Yes a fair bit of ‘good stuff’ went into it, yet at the same time, it was sooo simple. My questionable thoughts were laid to rest when 30 minutes into baking the delicious gloop, my kitchen was filled with the most serene and sweet scent of sugar and strawberries.


It was good. Damn sweet, but good. The strawberries were sweet, soft and warm, and the contrast against the crunchy crumble, given extra texture with the addition of almond flakes, was brilliant.

But, I think I will take up Ms Lawson on her firm suggestion next time: ‘Cream on the side is obligatory; not optional.’

Yes Miss!

#773 Lunchtime joy back in the ‘hood

We had a few jobs to tick off on our to-do list on the other side of town, which had us running around a bit today.

‘The other side of town’ being, our old ‘hood.

We were all feeling a bit worse for wear, and so as usual food and coffee and dessert would give us that much needed energy boost to keep us going. We decided to take a break after 1 out of 4 jobs were finished (not ones to delay gratification…)

We are a just a little bit obsessed with TGIs. Even baby girl spontaneously calls out from time to time “TGIs!” in letting us know where she wants to have dinner at that night. In thinking of a place to eat today, we realised there was no better place than there… we could chill in one of their booths, we knew it would be quiet at lunchtime, therefore we would get our meals quicker… and then there were the lunchtime ‘specials.’

Our regular meals ended up at almost half price, (!) and then we didn’t even pay for baby girl’s meal… because kids eat free Monday-Wednesday when with an adult meal.


Seriously I should just be a sponsor for the restaurant chain. Any TGIs reps wanna come find me… I’m here. Really.

But that wasn’t quite the pinnacle of my lunchtime-fest: no. I had deliberately had a chicken salad because of what I knew was coming around the corner…

San Churro.

Oh oh oh oh yes.

We very excitedly ordered our sweet treats. I realised how good it must be to work there, when people are deciding on filled churros, or plain churros with melted chocolate, and whether they want sugar or cinnamon dusting, and just anything and everything having to do with churros and melted chocolate… rubbing their hands together in delicious glee.


I totally indulged today. The churros were as delicious as I expected them to be, and I was well and truly content, as well as bursting with sugary energy (and food) once I was done.

It was a nice little break that kept us going on a very busy day.