Hey, hi, how are you? I’ve been AWOL, I know. It was unintentional and due to a number of things, mostly because we have been on and off the Winter cold, flu, and tonsillitis merry-go-round since about June.
– Every cough and cold around has come home with my daughter, then she got a nasty bout of tonsillitis (which she’s never had before), and five straight days and nights of FORTY ONE DEGREE temperatures had us worried sick about her, plus the doctor thinks she also probably had Influenza A, which was going round child care centres in the weeks before she got sick (“did you give her a flu vaccine?” “….no because when I asked if you give them to kids, you said YOU DIDN’T GIVE KIDS FLU VACCINES”). Then my husband got the tonsillitis, something he also never gets, and was incredibly sick as well, and I’ve been feeling very run down and exhausted as well, so that last thing on my mind was blogging.
When we weren’t besieged by sickness, I/we did try to get out and about a bit and managed to try a few new places to eat.
– Mother Dough, Hawthorn: I met up with a friend here for dinner one night a while ago and it was delicious. Beautiful thin crust pizzas, a lovely, intimate atmosphere and just an overall enjoyable place to sit and pass a few hours chatting and catching up. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area and looking for a satisfying meal.
– Cafe & Co, Sandringham: this is a cafe I had seen recommended, and it was lovely. Bright and airy, but not so trendy I felt like I would be attacked by quinoa, kale, and superfood smoothie bowls as soon as I opened the menu. The menu wasn’t huge, but they do have an extensive display case with the best kind of home made style baked goods that is well worth the visit on its own. Sandringham is such a nice, laid back little village, and we have to make sure to head back there to try another few places we noted were busy and looked inviting on the weekend morning we were there.
– Trunk: one of those places I feel like everyone in Melbourne has been to except me. We ducked in there a few weeks ago for a quick bite to eat on a casual date night. We went to the diner part, and I left wishing we had gone to the restaurant part instead. The diner was…underwhelming. My husband had a burger, nothing fancy, but it came out deconstructed – the pattie was on the bun, but he had to add the lettuce and tomato himself. I mean, come on Melbourne. Making us assemble our own burgers? STOP IT. I had a pulled pork quesadilla, which was nice but ultimately very plain. The fries came out with blue cheese aioli which was an odd flavour for aioli, and neither of us really enjoyed it. The whole experience was kind of a let down, so I’m keen to try the restaurant to see if that’s better than the diner.
– Bowery to Williamsburg: another place I’ve been looking forward to trying for a while now. I met my sisters there for lunch last week and it was good. But…just good. The menu was disappointingly short – I was expecting a lot more burger and sandwich selections (there were only about four to choose from), but the slow cooked brisket sandwich I had was tasty, albeit fairly plain. Honestly, while it was enjoyable, I was left wanting a little more.
– NGV Degas exhibit: we decided on a whim after Father’s Day brunch that we would go to the National Gallery to see the Degas exhibit. We were prepared not to get in given it was lunchtime on a Sunday a few weeks before it closed, but luckily it wasn’t too busy. There were a lot of people, yes, but I didn’t get crowd rage so it can’t have been too packed. Our daughter was with us, so I tended to speed walk through sections and then revisit the paintings I wanted to examine more intently depending on how cooperative she was (which was very, for the most part), but I just couldn’t read everything unfortunately. One thing I was pleasantly surprised by was Degas’ interest in a range of subject – landscape, horses, dancers, etc. I only knew him from his paintings of ballerinas, so it was great to see some other stuff as well. The exhibition was great overall, and I’m glad we decided to be spontaneous and check it out.
– I’ve been doing a little bit of baking, but literally everything I make fails or looks too terrible to photograph and blog about, which is SUPER ANNOYING for someone who loves to bake. I’ve made macarons in the past with great success. Recently, I’ve attempted them THREE TIMES and every time they are grainy, thick and too sludgy to squeeze out of the piping bag. I will keep trying, and I’m hoping the new season of The Great Australian Bake Off will somehow reignite my skills in the kitchen, which also seem to be AWOL at the moment. I’m currently waiting on an online order of violet coloured food gel to experiment with buttercream to see if it really will turn it white, like the internet says it will. I mean, the internet NEVER LIES, right?
– I’ve barely read any books this year, but I just finished Lianne Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, which is only the second book of hers I’ve read and I LOVED it. Such a fast, gripping read, and I’m really excited to watch the TV adaptation, which has Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, and Nicole Kidman in it (to name just a few of the stellar cast). I’m currently looking for something else to read, so if you have any recs let me know!
– We’ve had a LOT of TV time lately, what with all the germs permeating our house. I’ve blitzed through Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23, which I hadn’t seen before. It was okay, a little all over the place with continuity in season 2 which feels sloppy, but it was entertaining enough to have on when I needed something I didn’t have to focus too heavily on. My husband has been watching Lost for the first time, and I think he’s getting close to the part where I stopped watching, so I’m thinking of picking it back up with him, even though I kind of know how it ends, or at least the big thing that everyone thought it was. I watched Stranger Things over the course of a few days and I loved it – a real 80s nostalgia feel the whole way through, and NPR’s Linda Holmes described it as being like an 80s kids on bikes film, which articulates it perfectly. But other than that, I need new shows to watch, so again, any recs you have will be appreciated!
– We also watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Netflix, which I had wanted to watch since I saw the preview in theatres before it came out. It seemed fun and kitschy in that 1950s spy movie way, but ultimately left me feeling a little cold. Gorgeous sets and costumes, but the story was a little lacklustre for me.
– Last week we went to see Sully at the movies. I love me some Tom Hanks, and will watch him in anything, so I was looking forward to seeing this film. It was good, but it was a little benign for me. I didn’t know much about the water landing after it happened and was interested to see what happened next. I came away feeling as though the film didn’t impact me as much as I thought it would, which I think has a lot to do with the story itself. It deals with the investigation that happens immediately after the water landing and how Sully and his first officer handled the entire situation. While there were moments that had me feeling intrigued and annoyed on Sully’s behalf, I didn’t feel like the story itself was anything extraordinary, despite the extraordinary real life events. Saying all of this makes me feel very disloyal to Hanks, my favourite actor, but I feel it’s a criticism more of the writing than anything, though I do appreciate that they didn’t make the story a sensationalist witch hunt. I also thought Aaron Eckheart was really underused. Look, it’s not a bad film, it’s just not as wonderful as I hoped it would be. I’m interested to see if this gets any award recognition at the Golden Globes or Oscars, given that it’s a Clint Eastwood film, because I kind of think it shouldn’t. It just wasn’t fantastic enough to warrant that kind of attention, I think.
– Anyone else obssessed with Snapchat? I’m on there – username is chictodo_julia and I’m going to try and snap a little more from now on, so add me if you’re so inclined.
So, what have you been up to lately, hmm?
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