#798 Coffee breaks heal ALL

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

Fatigue

Sadness

Hangover

Soreness

Inactivity

Crankiness

Boredom

A big weekend, EVEN

All of the above!

Today the instigating feelings were fatigue, soreness and crankiness

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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.

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#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

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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?

OOKKKAAAAAYYYYY.

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.

Mmmmm.

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.

SCORE.

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.

MWA HA HA.

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.

 

 

#690 Coffee/Park/Beach break

Long story short… I was pissed off.

Short story long… following the splashback tiles going on in our kitchen just before Christmas, I still hadn’t had a chance to apply the grout sealer/protector, to keep them cleaner and protected against any guaranteed future splashes, squirts and splatters that would occur while cooking.

It had been bugging me, as not only was the tile grouting not sealed, but the oven was still moved forward because of this, and we were only allowed to use the front stove points. Also, certain corner and nearby cupboards were made harder to access, and all in all I just wanted to seal the tiles and move the oven back so everything was nicer and easier to use.

But when I sprayed the sealer on, and then as ‘per the bottle instructions,’ went to wipe the excess off the tiles an hour later… it came off, kind of. Remaining on the tiles were these annoyingly faint spray marks, ALL over the tiles as they had dried. I soon learnt they did not come off easily, AT ALL.

So after several hours, of first using paper towel with water, then paper towel with vinegar, and then a soft scouring non-scratching sponge with vinegar, I got MOST of it off.

Stuff that. I honestly couldn’t care anymore. I had probably removed most of the grout protector with my cleaning too, but I HONESTLY DIDN’T CARE ANYMORE.

I sat down at 3pm on the couch with a huff. I could hear baby girl in the nearby room playing with her toys so I sat breathing for 5 minutes. Still getting over being seriously pissed off. Then I got out our shoes, with baby girl asking me “Mama, where you take me?”

“I don’t know honey, let’s just go somewhere.”

Somewhere, led us to the Main Street with holiday-makers galore. I had to wonder if Hubbie and I were such sore thumbs when we used to weekend it over here…

And first, was the caffeine/sweet-tooth break.

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Ahhh, my sweet. As I stirred my coffee salaciously, I started to unwind.

Next, a short walk down the block to the big park by the bay. Baby girl swung for what felt like forever, and I let her. She too had been stuck inside as I had gone ape-shit on the kitchen tiles.

But I needed that BIT more ‘ahh’ time. I convinced her into a walk up to the water views at the end of the street… and then as we approached the ice cream van parked along the street, she convinced me into an ice cream.

What the hell. It was Summer, January, I had had an annoying few hours of the day, and although we weren’t on holiday just yet, I sure as hell was feeling those holiday vibes rubbing off on me from everyone else.

We wandered over to the lookout, sitting on a nearby bench, with the clifftop drop just metres away from our feet.

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Baby girl slurped her quickly melting ice cream, I helped her, we clutched on our hats as they both almost flew off our heads, and then I turned my attention to the vast expanse of water in front of us, breathing in the negative ions of the water, which if we’re being honest and literal, is actually POSITIVE.

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The wind nearly swept me away, but where I didn’t go, my problems and worries and all my annoying moments of the day, went. And then back to the park, for some more swinging fun…

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#647 Chaddy shopping day no.5 AND Kitchen W.I.P…

I am so excited about many things that happened today, so like the inability to pick your favourite child, I must be grateful for them ALL.

We had a brilliant day shopping at Chadstone. I am on leave from work, so it was Hubbie, baby girl and I all together, all day.

Our visit was punctuated by several coffee breaks

and then surprisingly successful shopping, with an overall fantastic mood from all of us topping it off.

Not only did we get more Christmas presents to tick off the list (it is still November so this is brilliant), but we bought Christmas presents that we didn’t plan to or expect to get, because of the difficulty of getting the right one for the receiver…

Winning!

And a successful shopping day just isn’t complete without presents for yourself:

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I was ecstatic to get the advent candle from kikki.K that I somehow missed out on last year as it sold out way too early, and along with that got our family calendar for next year, the one I can never live without, which I have written about multiple times, and here.

Secondly, I gave Hubbie a generous heads up and ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card when I told him he could buy me almost anything from kikki.K for Christmas and I would love it.

5 minutes later and he was asking me to kindly leave the store because he had seen some things he could get me…

Be with a guy for 17 years and he still needs prompts on what to buy you. Sigh.

But still…

Winning :):):)

And then of course we got the SIA Christmas CD, because I would play Christmas songs in October if Hubbie didn’t hang crap on me for it, and also, it’s further prep for her concert next week…

Lastly the book I found for myself, which I think is fabulous, as even though I don’t have instagram, I plan on creating an account for my writing profile, and there are beneficial tips in the book that are relevant for ALL social media users trying to get heard.

As if all that wasn’t enough joy and happiness (let’s not forget the Hokkaidos I took home with me!), then we came home at the end of our long day, after handing over the keys to the kitchen guys at the beginning of the day in what was kitchen demolition/removal day, and we found this:

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!!! It is only a W.I.P pic and so may not look like much to many, BUT LET ME TELL YOU, this blank white empty shell of a kitchen canvas looks better than the brown 80s outdated kitchen we had before it! When I eventually post before and afters, you will see what I mean.

The excitement Hubbie and I had in discovering our kitchen like this, being re-born…

I can’t deal. Too much gratitude for one day.

No not really. Give me more 🙂

#632 Melbourne Cup coffee

So, a little while ago in a post far, far away, I said I would count all the ways in which I love coffee, and I would happily spend my life doing so and expressing it here in this gratitude blog.

Enter today peeps.

I mean, I didn’t plan on going down Main street. I promise I didn’t. But a chore I had to do fell through, and here baby girl and I were on Cup Day, dressed up, in the car, with nothing to do.

She asked me as I turned into our fave strip “Mama why go here?”

I was silent for a long while. I wanted to surprise her. “I just want to see what’s open.”

In true literal and toddler fashion, she then proceeded to point out every single shop that was open.

After circling the block a couple of times, I made up my mind. And we headed on over to a local fave for a quick stop on this public holiday.

We missed Hubbie/Dad very much. Baby girl expressed her desire to share a biscuit with him. But somehow she managed to get by, and downed her babycino, while I treasured my chai latte, and then together we smashed an Oreo muffin, NOT pictured because you know… smashed Oreo muffin.

It wasn’t life-altering, it wasn’t squealing with excitement fun, and it wasn’t the bestest thing I had ever done. But it was a precious moment that I was grateful to be sharing with baby girl, and as long as it is something to be enjoyed, it is enough.

And then also, as I always say, it’s the little things.

We then went home, and discovered with happiness that Hubbie was on his way home, let off his work shift earlier that day.

We didn’t win in the 3pm race, but we won in the most important one 🙂

 

#631 Chocolate Mousse

It was just another ordinary day (a Monday too, no less) where I was this evening pondering what in the world I would post as my gratitude for the day.

And then… dessert happened. Chocolate Mousse to be specific.

My sister made it on the weekend. She wasn’t impressed with the way it had turned out, as she’d had to use another packet mix as opposed to her regular, tried-and-tested and crowd pleaser recipe.

I liked it. It wasn’t like she normally made it, but unlike coffee, I am not really a chocolate mousse snob.

When she was going to throw it out, I was like “no!” Throw our chocolate mousse?” Baby girl had loved it – at the very least, she would eat it.

So we took the leftovers home. And it stayed in our fridge for 2 nights.

Cue tonight, dinner time concluding. And I remembered, THE MOUSSE.

I divvied it up into 3 portions, and then Hubbie, baby girl and I started eating.

Mmmmmmmmm.

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It was superb. I could barely control myself long enough to take the photo, because it meant I wasn’t eating it. Somehow, in its extra resting and fridge-bonding time, it had turned SENSATIONAL. I loved it. Hubbie made comment several times, and baby girl, well, the way she was scraping every last morsel of mousse from the bowl, kind of told the story.

Sis, if you see this…

It was a winner. A little late, but a winner nonetheless.

It’s given me ammunition to get off my arse and make an attempt at it myself too. I did so, years ago, but it was a spiked one with some special ‘adult juice,’ …. now with baby girl as keen on it as me, I think I need to go PG with my next attempt.

All hail the chocolate mousse. Nom nom nom nom nom.