Thursday, 29 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Sometimes when you're having a bad day, it's important to focus on the awesome. So here is my Things I Love Thursday.

Big umbrellas on rainy days <Fried eggs for brekkie and good coffee<PD days with great women<Massages by my wonderful fiance <The idea of a big pint of cidery goodness tonight<
Bicep curls<Walking to work <Dr Who <Tickets to Creepshow, AND good costume ideas for it <Adorable kitties purring on my foot< Conversations with good people <Other people who use the word awesome entirely too much too! Awesome.

I do feel better now :)

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Royal Melbourne Show, aka Tiny Baby Lambs!

This weekend I attended the Royal Melbourne Show for the second time. I'm not really a big fan of the Show since it's a financial death trap (entry! rides! showbags! food! miscellaneous crap!) so getting free entry helped. I attended a forum relating to work, and the caught up with my housemate and ran amok. Well, not really. But we had fun.

Now, since I work for a farming organisation and was attending a farmer's forum, I thought I should pay attention to the agricultural aspects of the Show, which is really what it was all about back in the day. Luckily, the thing I most wanted to do was to pat a tiny baby lamb. You may think that the tiny baby part of it is encompassed by the lamb part of it (lamb does mean young sheep after all), but no. I wanted a TINY BABY LAMB! And I scored with these little guys that had just been born that day. Possibly that hour (I think there was still placenta...).

They were frolicking and gambolling and just being adorable. I may have let out several delighted squeals of things such as '"s that not the cutest little fucker you've ever seen?!?!" 

I failed in my attempt to get a photo with one of the tiny baby lambs, as little kids like the ones below kept on cock-blocking me. Damn kids! ;)

After the animals and showbags (hello Bertie Beetle!), it was time for rides. Or, one ride. The XXXL. This bad boy flings you up, over, around and down, and frankly, I was scared for my life. It was awesome. I'm glad the guy told me to take my glasses of though, because otherwise they would be somewhere in the Maribyrnong by now I think. When you're as blind as a bat and not wearing glasses, the world looks like this:


When you have your glasses back on, it looks more like this: 

If you're thinking about going to the Show I'd say do it. Any day that makes you learn something, squeal with delight and fear for your life has got to be a good day!*

*It also helps to go with someone from Tasmania who has never seen anything like it before. You can laugh at their quaintness, and enjoy the fact that they are having a friggen awesome day! :)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tofu of Win™ with soba and vegie soup

After having a bit of a health scare on the weekend and cutting short our weekend away, I decided it was time to eat less cheese *sob* and a bit more healthily. This is how Dan's Tofu of Win™ came into being!

Buckwheat soba soup (with Tofu of Win™)
Serves 4

1 large handful of dried shittake mushrooms that have soaked for about an hour (keep the water for the soup)
1 large teaspoon sambal oelek (or any chili would work)
Half teaspoon dried ginger (or 1 full teaspoon fresh/crushed)
1 or 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 sachet of miso paste
A splurt of mirin
A heap of Vegies (we used broccoli, carrot, corn from the cob, red and green capsicum)
Diced spring onion
Soy sauce
2 packets of buckwheat soba noodles
Tofu, diced into chunks
Vegeta (vegetable stock)
Peanut oil

Make the broth first and when it gets to a boil you can blanch the carrot, then the broccoli. You don't want to leave it in there as they will go all mushy, so use common sense. Other vegies will be added last, but it's all up to you. You can also use the mushroom soaking water as that will add flavour. Soba can be added last as that will also go mushy. 

Whilst that's all happening coat your tofu in vegeta and fry it. I was skeptical at first, but holy crap. THIS IS DELICIOUS. I couldn't stop eating it. It's tasty, great textured, and just awesome. Try it. You'll never look back. If there's any left it can then be added to the bowls before you pour the soup in. Sprinkle with spring onion, add a healthy dash of soy sauce and voila! Instant awesome. It won't make leftovers since it will all go mushy so make enough to eat, or give some to your housemates!  

You'll note that you can't see much tofu. This is because I ate the rest of it :-/ There is more in the bottom of the bowl, but personally I would prefer to eat it as is. 

And, because I realised I haven't posted a picture of me on this blog yet, here is a shameless pic of me at the farm we stayed at in the Yarra Valley (before I got sick). Although I work for a farming organisation, I don't think I could look more like a city girl if I tried! 

Friday, 9 September 2011

Tough Mudder

As I was trawling the interwebs the other day (well, facebook), I discovered a little ad on the side called Tough Mudder. It looked interesting so I clicked the link...and fell in love. If by love you mean instant excitement.

Tough Mudder is billed as 'probably the toughest event on the planet'. I don't believe it's that' tough, but I'm sure we'll see. It involves a 12 mile (which equates to 19 kms...eep!) obstacle course with things like mud pits, monkey bars, dives into icy water and other vaguely masochistic challenges. Awesome. Actually, looking at some of the individual challenges has made me wonder what the hell I was thinking! Particularly since it will be two weeks before our wedding!

mud crawl - georgia Tough Mudder 2011

BUT it does tie in nicely with some of my challenges - eg one of the requirements is to be able to do at least 6 chin-ups and at least 25 push-ups. So I can think of it as epic way of achieving my goals, yes?

monkey bar - georgia Tough Mudder 2011

I was hoping that my friend Anna would do it with me, but she said hell no. But I live in hope! (although I didn't realise it was 12 miles rather than 12 kms...this does make quite a difference).

Now to buy me some kettle bells or at least a dumb bell bar. Good times ahead! :-D

Friday, 2 September 2011

30 before 30

Hello! Finally I have time to revisit my 30 before 30 list and see what I still need to do in the next 3.5 months.

1. Go to a new country with a different culture and language
2. Learn another language
3. Run a half marathon
4. Learn to surf
5. Learn to sew (properly), as in take a sewing course.
6. Climb a palm tree
7. Go scuba diving - booked in for this year! 
8. Swim with sharks - half done, if you consider snorkelling with sharks in Sea World as swimming with sharks.
9. Travel around Australia - half done - I'm slowly making my way around, but I haven't seen the outback yet. 
10. Go to Tasmania
11. Go skiing
12. See snow
13. Go to the Amazon - half done. I've been to the Amazon Basin but not the actual Amazon River. 
14. Get a degree
15. See the full moon over water (ideally a beach)
16. Live inner city
17. Go camping under the stars
18. See Macchu Picchu
19. Attend a High Tea, preferably with my mum.
20. Go to a gallery
21. Go to the Museum (I have been to museums, but not the Melbourne Museum...)
22. Do the Oxfam Trail Walk
23. Have a stall at a market
24. Go to Canada
25. Buy a brand new car
26. Do Bikram or Hot Yoga
27. Do 10 chin ups/pull ups
28. See Rammstein Live
29. Go to New Zealand
30. Go to the Melbourne Comedy Festival

I thought I was doing pretty well actually, but I've only done 16 out of the 30...crap! Some of them have been half done, such as swimming with sharks and going to the Amazon, but they're still ones that aren't completed yet. I have plans on cage diving with sharks in the future, and whenever I see pictures of the Amazon I have pangs of longing so clearly that isn't finished yet. 

Some of these I haven't completed and know I won't. For instance I know I won't get to Canada before I'm 30, and that's ok. Oxfam Trail Walk I physically won't be able to do since it's next year and even then I won't be able to do it. I would prefer to climb a palm tree in a tropical island paradise, which will most likely be Thailand for our honeymoon. I'm not really craft anymore so I can't imagine having a craft store, unless it's for old clothes or a glorified garage sale. Learning to surf and taking a sewing course have been on my list every year for a good 5 years or so, probably longer for surfing. Since we're saving for the wedding I don't think they'll happen this year (again!). 

Overall, there's still a good couple of things that I can do in the next few months to knock off the list: 

High Tea with mum
Visit the Melbourne Museum
Bikram or Hot yoga
10 chin-ups or pull-ups (although I'm not 100% convinced about that. But I reckon I should be able to get up to 5. Can't I?!).

Realistically...that's not too bad. I can knock the first two off in a weekend easy. Sweet! 

But one day I will get back to South America. I will boat or canoe along the Amazon, and I will see these guys, the Amazon River Dolphin, or Boto. Even though they look a little freaky, one of my favourite memories was waking up one morning to see my dad (who worked night shift and had just finished work) watching a documentary on the Amazon. In the river was in flood, and there were dolphins frolicking in the water between the trees. Dolphins! In a forest! Fucking awesome. 

Image via Kevin Schafer @ Nat Geo