#458 Impromptu Pho

I was busy at home when Hubbie charged through the doors this morning, high on his new hair-cut and wanderings through our humble-yet-bustling town, and declared “we are going to About Thyme for lunch!”

Really, we should have gone out last night, instead of this morning as I hurriedly made sweet treats in preparation for my parents anniversary on the weekend, prior to my late starting work shift this afternoon. So what do you think I did?

Amidst rolling 50 cake balls for my cake pops, I rushed through the batch (with attention-to-detail, of course) got ‘properly’ dressed, before we ran out the door.

We hadn’t been there in quite a while. And I immediately knew what I was going to have on such a still, yet grey day.

Pho.

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I was looking forward to the prawns also listed on the ingredients menu, but alas, I think not in season. Never mind. It was still warming, and tasty, and when I popped in a sliced chilli piece into the broth, so, so, sooooo spicy.

It had me watering at the eyes and gasping for breath, and then Hubbie over-confidently declared he would finish my chillies for me…

30 seconds and 4 chillies later, and HE was gulping down water with watery eyes.

Advantage of almost over-combusting? The heat almost totally cleared up my stuffy nose and sore throat that has been just hanging around for almost a week. So BIG points there.

(Note to self: bite into hot chilli next time I am sick).

A quick bite to eat out, with my family, unexpectedly on a dreary Wednesday before work…. Un-Pho-gettable.

(Sorry, I had to).

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#371 Casual beach epiphany

These casual beach visits are happening more and more lately… partly because we are testing the literal waters of how close we are, and also, because… well, the hot season ended just yesterday.

Either way I love these visits.

It doesn’t mean however, that the warm weather has gone away. March has already brought a spectacular sunshine-y day to us, and looking at the forecast for the week ahead, things look really good.

While sitting on my beach towel watching baby girl and Hubbie in the shallow waters earlier this evening (I only ever get to sit for a few minutes at a time, IF I am lucky) with baby girl leaping into the water like a frog, and Hubbie keeping watch nearby, I turned around to look at the scenery around me.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. Lifeguards were jumping off of their red boats and practicing essential life-saving skills. A man sat in his beach box behind us, making us all jelly that he had residential property on the beach. A couple of dogs ran wild in the water. And in amongst the decent lot of people around, I spotted some casual-looking ones: straw hats, low slung beach bags, big sunnies, and oversized tops thrown over their swimwear.

I looked back to the pristine and still waters before me, glistening in the sun, and got very emotional.

This was now our neighbourhood. We were now locals, as they all were.

It was a small moment, and certainly one that has struck us with its epiphany before, but every so often, Hubbie and I will be somewhere in our ‘hood, doing something, and turn to each other and say

“Look where we are.”

We actually, dumbfound ourselves.

I love these moments. I hope they never end. The wonder and sheer surprise that life has to offer, with its marvellous and weird and trippy twists and turns.

And I hope they keep on coming, at the beach.

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#351 Baby girl’s first day of kinder

I was shocked. I mean, I knew I might have some slight separation sadness in dropping off baby girl, and leaving her, with people who were not her family or friends (yet) and then picking her up at a later time.

It’s normal. But the last few weeks, hell, months, I’ve been eagerly in anticipation of what these childless hours would mean to me – freedom, and much needed ‘me’ time. Every time baby girl has played up in recent weeks, I’ve scoffed and said “wait ’til you go to kinder! You won’t get away with that!”

And then suddenly, it was Wednesday night. I was anxious. Everything felt rushed. How had everything fast forwarded? I wasn’t ready.

How had this happened so quickly? When had baby girl become a kindergarten girl?

Then, Thursday. This morning. I nearly burst out crying multiple times during the morning routine, more so when Hubbie arrived unexpectedly from an impromptu work break, to be there to see his girl off too, on her first day.

She was perfectly fine. She was sooo fine, that she glanced at us as we kissed her goodbye, and then went back to the new toys she had just discovered.

And then we were walking out of the gates and I was sobbing.

I felt lost for about 20minutes. Like I had forgotten something. A part of me was missing.

But then I remembered the things I had been looking forward to. And I realised that this is as much a transition process for me, as it has been for baby girl. She is more skilled than her mother though, as she has already flown through and is at the “let me at prep already Mum” stage.

All in good time.

As mixed as the general feelings were about today, predominantly that of happiness and excitement prevail. And how could they not when I look at this photo?

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Baby girl striding forward confidently, not a care in the world, eager to see and learn and experience and feel a world of NEW.

Let me at it guys!

My baby girl, forever. Excuse me as I tear up again…

#228 Bedroom wrestling and cuddles

Today we did something that only even really happens on a Sunday morning, or a Wednesday one, and even those days don’t guarantee the fun that can ensue…

We wrestled.

We cuddled.

And baby girl was in the middle of it all laughing that infectious giggle of hers.

When Hubbie isn’t at work, and we all wake up at about the same time, I love pulling her into bed with us. She is excited. She roughs up the sheets, hides under the covers. We talk about the day ahead. The night before. Plans and conversations. We eat/tickle/bombard her in between with affection, and quite seriously, it is the best way to start your day.

Jumping around in bed with your family.

Au naturel.

Messy hair, pjs I don’t care.

Love and laughter, making memories the free, cheap and easy way.

With love.

#194 Yellow packages

I love how nowadays you are told via email when something you’ve ordered will be delivered. I was expecting such a delivery this Wednesday, but upon viewing my personal emails at work, I saw with gleeful surprise that it was due to arrive TODAY.

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You know how when it’s your birthday month, businesses and stuff that you subscribe to might send you a voucher or something to celebrate your month make you want to spend money at their shop? Well I received such an offer from one of my fave shops, and though August is so stupid busy that I usually completely forget to take advantage of any such said offers, for some reason, I remembered I had $20 to spend, but I didn’t know how I would spend it since I wasn’t planning on heading in that shop’s direction for a while…

Then, an insane thought, coupled with another email from said-store saying ‘25% off everything for the next 24 hours!’

I’m no Einstein, BUT –

$20 voucher, plus a 25% discount of an item = Great steal.

🙂

And how to achieve this result?

Why, online shopping of course!

When I was meant to be doing some other important house-related stuff late that night on the last day of August, instead I was trying to work out how I would score something from this store for absolute minimal cost.

Hence today’s package.

I’m not usually a yellow kinda girl. I actually can’t wear it – it doesn’t do me any favours. But the colour popped out at me, and I saw myself holding it as I walked down the main strip of our Sea change location, where we’ll be residing ourselves permanently in the next couple of months.

The yellow spoke to me: summer, sun, beach, shops.

Fun, lifestyle, fashion.

Different, bright, happy.

Happy is good. Happy is great.

I like yellow presents 🙂 From me, to me.

Why not?

#189 We are so bad…

… and I love it.

So, a couple of days ago we’re working out our repayments for our new Sea change house. (Tee hee hee, excuse me while I repeat the words ‘our Sea change house’ for forever).

We’re like “ok, I think this will work.”

It will work. But we just have to be a bit more careful with our money. No random purchases and go out here and just eat there and buy those shoes because what the hell.

We need to be a little careful. Mindful. We’ve gotten used to a very relaxed way of living, and now we need to be considerate of where our money goes, because not only will we be paying off our Sea change house (tee hee hee) but we also want to save on the side so we can slowly, do the place up, and renovate areas while we’re living there.

This conversation, literally happened on Monday night.

Today, Wednesday. We’re driving home from the shops after running around all day, and Hubbie suddenly turns to me:

“I feel like dinner out tonight.”

I withhold a big smile creeping onto my face. I purse my lips and he’s grinning, waiting.

“Well we might as well take advantage of our local while we’re still in the area.”

He laughs. “You’re shocking.”

Hours later, and we’re at a reliable local, TGIs. It’s loud, it’s bustling, we can sit in a booth and hole up baby girl at one end (until she climbs under the table) the food is moorish, and of course the crayons and free balloon are always entertaining.

For baby girl of course.

And then this:

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We shared something calling itself a ‘chocolate malted turtle,’ or something like that. There was warm, moist chocolate fudge cake, chocolate malt icing, ice cream, and caramel sauce.

Oh My Gosh. This thing should never be shared, ever, ever, ever.

It was so insanely good. It was a dessert orgasm, that’s what it was.

And sitting there eating all this food, eating out, days after saying we need to watch our money more, we were thinking the same thing.

‘We are so bad.’

But, I love being bad.

 

#99 Cheap wine

We’ve always had an abundance of wine in our house. Leading up to and after our wedding, we received a zillion bottles. Add to that, one time Hubbie bought a box of 12 cheap wines from the bottle shop because they were on special… cleanskin. Generic label,, not necessarily a ‘label.’ I don’t know, maybe it was $20, $30 for the lot? He said we could drink it as an everyday wine, and even use it in my special pastas and what-not.

The box of cheap wine sat in the corner of our garage. And the other bottles got drunk, slowly throughout the years.

I’ve increased my enjoyment and consumption of red since then. It took absolute ages to get through the stuff, because I tended to mix drinks and drink other, sweeter stuff. During that time, my tastebuds matured, and so I started to seek out more refined, bolder flavours. Something quite significant also happened to make me start drinking more red: I got pregnant.

Now before you arrive on my door with pitchforks, let me make clear, I started to drink more of it after my pregnancy, and still then, after I finished breastfeeding. So, in total, I had been off alcohol completely for 22 months.

Almost 2 years. I have always enjoyed drinking a few with company, at a party. Since recommencing though, I will now have a glass of red almost every night.

Part of it has to do with being off it for so long. I’m making up for lost time. Part of it has to do with knowing I’ll be off it in the future when I get pregnant again. I’m getting ready for future lost time. Additionally, it’s warming, and I enjoy it with my meal. I’m not going crazy. But I am having fun with it.

Since starting the red again, we’ve been going through our alcohol cabinet. Drink some of those, buy some ‘nice’ ones for an occasion. Get given some more. Drink cabinet wines, buy new ones, get ones. Continuous cycle on repeat.

Wednesday night Hubbie pulled out a beer. I can’t not have a glass if he’s having a drink. I won’t have anything if he’s having a dry night… again, it’s a company thing. I went to the cabinet… and came up with two expensive bottles of wine.

After all these years, that was ALL that was left, and yet I didn’t feel quite right opening them. I’m not a hoarder of fine things that don’t get used… I drink these lovely bottles. But at that moment, I just wanted any old bottle, and would rather have saved the $$$ ones for a Saturday night with Hubbie, or when we had company over.

Then Hubbie remembered. The box of cheap wine in the garage.

He took one out, this cleanskin, and we looked it over.

WE 3 Cabernet Merlot 2009. Wine of Australia. Exclusive to Dan Murphy’s. Mulgrave address.

Hmmm. Seemed ok. Taste-test required.

Both of us had a sip. Not bad. Not bad AT ALL.

Hubbie went back into the garage, and took out all the bottles we had there, filling up our cabinet with 11-12 of them. They had hardly ever been used. Until now.

Tonight, as I again sipped on the regular red, I realised I was chatting a lot. Not in a tipsy way… I was just happy. This red put me in a happy state. I don’t know what it is about it… but it’s good. It tastes good, the colour is nice, and the price back then was way good.

I’m grateful for great-tasting, cheap wine. Affordable to most. Simple. Clean. Fun.

Just another reminder to not judge a book by it’s cover…