Road Trip Through Australia’s Gorgeous South West – Spring 2017

Sugarloaf Rock, Western Australia Western Australia Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia

It’s been a long time since you’ve last seen me here, and daaaang, so much has happened since! This year has been a roller coaster ride so far. Now that I’ve got a smidgen of time, I wanted to update the blog with a quick travel post about a recent road trip I embarked on this week. Just covering half of the adventure for now — snapshots from Busselton down to Augusta. I’ll try to cover Augusta to Albany at a later date! And just a quick note about our driving soundtrack: it included the likes of Mitch King, The Black Keys, and City & Colour, among others.

We started the drive on Monday, from Perth down to Busselton. Yeah, we made the famous jetty — longest in the Southern Hemisphere at an impressive 1.8 kilometres — our very first stop. On the way there, we passed beautiful wildflowers of all colours, cows and woolly sheep grazing by slow-moving rivers, mobs of kangaroos hanging around (and when I say “mob”, I mean about 300 kangaroos in a group, being lazy and not doing much), tranquil wetlands shrouded in mist, wild lilies growing in clumps under low-hanging trees, and even a number of one-hump camels by the side of the road. The flora of Western Australia is quite different to South Queensland (where I grew up). It was certainly an eye-opener of a drive!

Continue reading “Road Trip Through Australia’s Gorgeous South West – Spring 2017”

Stunning Views from the Skypoint Observation Deck @ Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Q1 Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise Q1 Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise

Here are some great shots from the Skypoint Observation Deck on top of the Q1, taken when my good friends Jeanette and Chen came over for a visit back in November ’15. I loved having visitors to look after! James and I had a blast taking them to our favourite spots, though this was my very first (and probably last) time to the top of the Q1. The view was spectacular that day, made all the better thanks to the passing rain clouds in the distance giving the whole landscape a very surreal, magical appearance. Continue reading “Stunning Views from the Skypoint Observation Deck @ Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast”

Kinfolk Café @ Bourke Street
, Melbourne // A Not-For-Profit Café with Heart and Soul

Kinfolk Cafe, Melbourne Kinfolk Cafe, MelbourneKinfolk Cafe, Melbourne

The concept at Kinfolk is an unusual one. The cafe calls itself a “social enterprise”, and while it does the usual things a typical city cafe would do (i.e. serve coffee and breakfast to the working class and the out-of-towners in the middle of a crowded CBD), Kinfolk also does things a little differently. It is a well-oiled business driven by a dedicated team of volunteers from all ages, races and genders. And here’s the thing: they give away 100% of their profits to their charity partners. In fact, they have raised more than $150,000 for various projects since opening in 2010! Continue reading “Kinfolk Café @ Bourke Street
, Melbourne // A Not-For-Profit Café with Heart and Soul”

Rolled Oat Porridge with Honeyed Greek Yoghurt, Blackberries & Chocolate Chunks

Oat Porridge with Honeyed Greek Yogurt, Blackberries and Chocolate

When James isn’t making us his OTT poached-eggs-bacon-&-hollandaise-sauce-from-scratch breakfasts, I usually make myself a hearty bowl of oat porridge with some fruit and honey thrown in. The past few days, I’ve been sprucing up my oats with some chunks of chocolate and Greek yogurt, too. Blackberries have been going cheap at the shops lately. Living in Singapore is pretty awesome – the supermarkets here get stuff imported from all over the world. Korean strawberries are incredible, Chilean blueberries are not so bad either, and we just bought a bag of lemons from Egypt. Back in Australia, fresh produce is typically locally sourced. I mean, rightfully so since Australia is very well known for its quality produce, but it’s always interesting to see what other countries have to offer. Continue reading “Rolled Oat Porridge with Honeyed Greek Yoghurt, Blackberries & Chocolate Chunks”

[Lanes & Alleyways] A Quick Guide to Melbourne’s Ever-Evolving Street Art

Melbourne Street Art 2015 Melbourne Street Art 2015 Melbourne Street Art 2015

With so many nooks, crannies, concrete walls and innocent dumpsters to spice up, the inner city of Melbourne is a living canvas for restless and relentless creatives. With several narrow lanes and back alleys dedicated to quality street art (and less aesthetic wall tagging), there is without a doubt a whole lot of character and charm between the claustrophobic walls of the CBD. The famous Hossier Lane is a prime example of this fervent spray paint culture. Countless other hidden streets are peppered with comical caricatures and eye-popping, punch-in-the-face masterpieces — AC/DC Lane, with its ‘loud’ art, is a particular tourist favourite, while Rankins Lane offers a more subtle vibe. Continue reading “[Lanes & Alleyways] A Quick Guide to Melbourne’s Ever-Evolving Street Art”

The Village Markets @ Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast

The Village Markets, Gold Coast The Village Markets, Gold Coast The Village Markets, Gold Coast

One thing I regret not doing much of during my 11 long years in Australia is paying the local markets frequent enough visits. The lack of attention and negligence on my behalf is something that I’m still kicking myself over to this day. However, I am proud to say that on my final weekend on the Gold Coast, when the summer heat gave not an ounce of respite and the mercury soared straight past 36°C, James and I decided to rock up to one the GC’s most beloved weekend markets: The Village Markets. Continue reading “The Village Markets @ Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast”

Herbed Parmesan & Sea Salt Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)

Herbed Parmesan Grissini Herbed Parmesan Grissini Herbed Parmesan Grissini

We had to use the bread flour, the yeast, the parmesan. We were going away on a long, long adventure and the pantry at home still housed a plethora of baking ingredients that had to be taken care of, lest they go unused for months, maybe years. Our decision to make a long-term move to sunny Singapore gave us reason to make these lovely grissini sticks. They were the very last thing we baked before I flew the coop on Christmas Eve (with James to follow in mid-January). Yes, to a different country altogether. Goodbye, Australia. I’m back in my homeland now and, ironically, am starting to feel a little homesick. Also, I am sad to report that the apartment here does not actually have an oven (yet), which means you will not be seeing any cakes or cookies on this blog for awhile. Continue reading “Herbed Parmesan & Sea Salt Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)”

The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium – A Great Place to Beat the Summer Heat

Melbourne Aquarium 2015 Melbourne Aquarium 2015 Melbourne Aquarium 2015

If you ever find yourself in need of a place to escape the horrid summer heat of Melbourne, pop into SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium for a few hours and only venture back outside when you think the sun’s gone down. Oops, nope, my mistake — in summer, darkness doesn’t come till 9pm. That’s long after the aquarium closes for the day (6pm). No matter, it’s still worth a visit if you’re anywhere near the city. Their star attraction seems to be the penguin enclosure, found right at the end of your journey – they save the best for last. Oh, and they also have critters that you would not think to find at an aquarium, including tarantulas, lizards and snakes. Continue reading “The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium – A Great Place to Beat the Summer Heat”