The Heart of Beautiful Brisbane

A couple of weekends ago, James and I hopped on a train from Helensvale and headed into Brisbane. We mainly stuck around Queen Street and South Bank. Places that were nostalgic to us.

Before we started our relationship, Brisbane was one of the few places we went to as just friends. Well, we didn’t really see each other often before we became a couple. Probably because he was my brother’s friend and being with him meant Kevin would be there too, but mostly because we were both too shy to do anything about it. Anyway yes, Brisbane was one of the places we went to without Kevin knowing. We caught the train up and were stuck in the city the entire day, together and alone. Oh, you should’ve seen us! There wasn’t a time where it was awkward. We just had so much to talk about. Don’t even know what we talked about. But we just couldn’t stop. We had so very much in common. It was so much fun!

Two days after that, we confessed we liked each other and decided to start a relationship.

A year and a half later, we’re still together and very much in love.

Won’t You Shine, Shine On

My boyfriend is a wonderful, beautiful individual who knows how to make me smile and how to make me laugh. I like it when he makes me wholemeal blueberry pancakes for breakfast in the morning, like he did yesterday. I like it when he surprises me with honey green tea from the bubble tea shop when he visits. I like it when he picks up one of the dusty guitars sitting in the corner of my room and sits on my bed to play Aloha de Chocobo.

I also kinda like it when he wears his sunglasses on top of his beanie. It’s cute.

14 Months, A New Aquarium, White Day

So, many things have happened since the last time I blogged. On Thursday, 1st of March, James and I celebrated our 14 months together. I stayed over at his place because his parents were away. As a surprise, I baked him some mocha cinnamon chocolate chip cookies in the shape of little hearts. In return, he surprised me with a batch of sugar cookies (a few of which were cut into dinosaur and heart shapes). They were absolutely lovely and the texture was perfect. They were soft but still retained a bit of crunchiness which I always enjoy in sugar cookies. I liked them so much that I asked for the recipe! James wasn’t too happy about them, however. He didn’t think they were good enough as a monthaversary present, so he actually made me another batch of goodies a few days later to make up for his ‘fail’ sugar cookies, although I didn’t think they were bad at all! His other batch of goodies? Wonderfully fluffy little melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and pink icing, which honestly blew me away!

Daytime antics at James’ house. We eat and do funny dances. Most of the time. Well, probably all of the time, if we’re not busy baking/cooking in the kitchen.

On Friday afternoon, we had a wonderful little picnic under the shade of one of the billion large palm trees outside James’ house. We had a really nice view of the water. Halfway through the picnic, Pickles and Bonanza flew into the tree we were under to come squeak hello. Well, they were pretty much observing us with their cute little curious stares. One of them eventually hung upside down on one of the palm fronds and stayed in that position long time just looking at us being all cuddly and kissy. I’ve seen Pickles and Bonanza be very cuddly and kissy towards each other and I bet you they think it’s rather nice to see human couples act the same way too!

  

When we went back inside the house, we hung out downstairs (where no one really hangs out), and had a little short-lived competition at the pool table. I lost. Enough said.

 

On Saturday, 3rd March, mum and dad treated us to a yum cha lunch at Top One. It was an extremely filling and satisfying lunch. I don’t spend much time with my busy parents anymore so it was nice to be out with them. After that, James and I visited the huge pet store at Biggera Waters (Brontasurus) to look at cute little animals. From yellow ducklings to Persian kittens to Japanese quails to Mexican Axolotls, this store always has something to offer! I was quite interested in the fish section. I used to keep fish as a kid and my house back in Singapore had a large 90 gallon (~340 litre) aquarium that was full of amazing tropical fish.

Anyway, when we got home from the pet store, guess what my parents had waiting for me in my bedroom! A brand new aquarium! Alright, so it’s tiny (only about 5 or 6 gallons), but still! I now have a new little fish tank sitting in my bedroom! It’s been a week and a bit since I got the tank now, so it’s currently stocked with a bunch of living creatures, but it took a lot of work getting the tank to the state it’s in now! All the rocks and gravel and planting and water testing! Well, at least there’s fish in there now and they seem happy! :)

As well as the aquarium, my parents brought home a tasty mini Japanese cheesecake for James and I to share! ♥

The 6th of March was Ann’s birthday. There was a little family dinner at Naomi’s house. Naomi prepared an awesome bangers and mash dinner, plus bread and butter pudding for dessert. So full afterwards! For Ann’s birthday present, I got her a set of Crabtree and Evelyn products that came in the prettiest box ever, and also, a pashmina cashmere shawl. Ann is James’ mum, by the way!

 
Left: Ella with her daddy, playing with the mini trampoline!
Right: Mohawk’d Ella and her granddaddy!

13th March (Tuesday), James came over and handed me two adorably wrapped presents as early White Day gifts. He stuck little messages written in Japanese on them, which I thought was very clever and cute. Inside the presents were, of course, chocolate. Lindt chocolate. Yummy, yummy!

Well guys, that’s all I have to blog about. I just want to finish off this blog entry by adding that James and I have booked flights to Japan and we’ll be going in May. We’ll be staying in Yokohama and Tokyo. I am extremely excited! Can’t wait!

Valentine’s Day 2012

James and I celebrated our 2nd Valentine’s Day last week. It was more like ‘Valentine’s Week’ because I stayed over at his house from Tuesday till Friday. His family was away on Hamilton Island for the week, so we had the place to ourselves. And we had a good time!

I’m a sucker for flowers. I know they only look pretty and they don’t last forever, but it’s just nice to get flowers once in awhile! <3 I also got a new Pandora charm for my bracelet. The charm has 2 crowned hearts (the one in the middle). James said he got it for me because it reminded him of Kingdom Hearts and he knows I’m a fan. Awwww, he’s so cute!

Me, being the cliché girlfriend that I am, wrote him a very long, cheesy card and then wrapped his extremely heavy present in the most cliché Valentine’s Day wrapping paper I could find. Love hearts everywhere! Also, I wasn’t kidding when I said his present was heavy…

I also baked him chocolate caramel brownie hearts. Here’s the recipe. They came out very well, if I may say so myself! Not overly sweet, like a lot of brownies out there. Of course, I made these with good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa). James made me tasty things, too. Like red velvet cake pops coated in white chocolate and sake chocolate truffles. The sake chocolate tasted like it was infused with toffee or something. Amazing.

 

So, what was the extremely heavy present that I got for James, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not very Valentinesy, but… I got him a nice, wooden mah jong set. Yup. Aren’t I the best girlfriend in the world? It wasn’t exactly the cheapest thing in the world, but I knew James had been dying to learn and play it for a long time. So, we shall learn and we shall play!

 

The boyfriend made us dinner that night. Complete with candles and all. Homemade pizza! My boyfriend makes the most impressively delicious pizzas, you have no idea! I am a very happy girlfriend! :)

The rest of the week passed with us baking/cooking/walking Bella/watching horror movies/being in love. It was a good week. I managed to bake a perfect banana choc chunk sugar loaf. I deserve some sort of baker’s award!