Friday, May 22, 2015

Ph(f)oto Friday: The $100 hair pin

Two weeks ago as I was doing my laundry round like usual, the washer emitted some irregular sound and I realised the water was not drained out during the rinsing cycle. Um... not good. I'm not thrilled in hand washing my laundry, especially not in winter when most clothing are jumpers, hoodies, etc not to mention the cold water.

Long story short, I did have to hand wash one round of laundry and managed to get a mechanic in to look at my washer the week after. Turns out the culprit was the hair pin above, and yes this hair pin cost me $100. The irony was it has been ages since I used one of these pins. I used to when I bun my hair up but it definitely has been awhile since I last put my hair up in a bun.

So there - remember to check the pockets for foreign objects before putting them in the washer!

Side note: I so need a holiday!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

VIC: Phillip Island

Phillip Island is almost equate to penguin parade. It was the same for us, the main aim was to catch the penguin parade. Of course, there are other attractions but penguin parade wins all. We went on a Easter Sunday and didn't foresee that the tickets for the parade were all sold out when we reached Phillip Island. It was about 5 PM then, so we only managed to visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory.

Chocolate penguins

Chocolate high heels
A boy who was there in the shop told me these wall were made of real chocolate... I don't know if they are for sure...

We asked for some samples to try but didn't really like it though I am not sure if we were too disappointed from not being able to see the penguin parade after a 2 hour drive. We had dinner and departed home... and tried again the next day.

Disappointment needs to be remedied, so off we went to see those penguins again. This time we had a bit more time to pop over to The Nobbies, had an early dinner before making our way to the parade.

The photos are all a little gloomy but that's what Melbourne is at the moment, grey and cold. Especially since we were at the sea, it was even colder. We were equipped with beanies, winter jackets, gloves and scarves while waiting for the penguins to return home. We got the 'general viewing' tickets at $24.50 per person. You can also purchase online here. Photos are prohibited to protect our little friends. So you would need to visit Phillip Island for yourselves to see the cute little penguins. ^^

Side note: Am tempted to have a cuppa of coffee... 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

VIC: Rippon Lea House and Gardens

I was clueless of Rippon Lea House & Gardens. It was in sis' itinerary because they have an Easter egg hunt activity during the Easter week. I had high hopes that the eggs for the egg hunt were at least egg-shaped. Something like wooden egg but they were not, they were pieces of papers with egg printed on them and laminated. Oh well..

Rippon Lea House & Gardens is 20 minutes away from Melbourne's CBD, located in Elsternwick. It is the last of Australia's grand suburban estates with a 5.7 hectares garden. The mansion was designed in 1868 and was home to two families who collectively lived about 100 years in the estate.

It was initially home to the Sargood family who owned a clothing and drapery firm in Melbourne. In 1903, Sir Sargood was knighted in 1890 and upon his demise in 1903, Lady Sargood sold the property to the Premier of Victoria, Sir Thomas Bent. The next owner moved in to the estate in 1910. His daughter, Mrs Louisa Jones inherited the property in 1935. The estate was passed to the care of the National Trust in 1972 after the passing of Mrs Louisa Jones.

We had a little picnic along with the many people in the expanse field looking at the mansion. There was a live band playing to keep the crowd entertained.

After feeding our tummies, we went inside the mansion for a visit.

Side note: I have just realise that it is so hard to shop for long boots when one is a shortie >.<"

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ph(f)oto Friday: Blood Moon

I'm running on some delayed time at the moment. I think I'm turning into a bear - all I want to do is sleep. Ok, maybe some strange bear that wakes up for food. So eat and sleep.

Anyway, back to the blood moon. I took this photo on 4th of April and I don't have some kick arse camera, hence that's the best I can get. I cropped the photo so the moon looks bigger, otherwise no other edit.

Side note: Time to go zz again.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

If you have walked into The Block Arcade before you would probably notice a big glass window showcasing beautiful desserts.

Next to this big glass window, there's usually a queue to get into a particular tea room. This place is Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

We returned to this eatery to celebrate Little P's be-early birthday. Many restaurants here have a specials menu and Hopetoun is one of them. Little P blogged about this two years back and because the food we ordered were from their specials menu, they no longer serve those. This round we had seafood risotto. I really enjoyed the risotto.. yumm..

Then come dessert (of course!), we had two - another item from the specials menu which was the sticky date sponge cake and a lime pie to share.

Oh.. and my flat white. Little P is a tea drinker, so mint tea for her (and yes, I know this is a tea room...)

Side note: Happy be-early birthday Little P! ^^

Sunday, April 19, 2015

My tag-along day trips out of Melbourne

Sis, BIL and little niece were in Melbourne earlier this month for a holidays, taking advantage of one of the two  4 days long weekend (Easter & Christmas). They were here for about 11 days. Most people asked, "Where are you taking them?" My answer was, "I didn't, they are bringing me around." Entirely true because sis planned the itinerary and they rented a car, I tagged along with their getaway. :P (*insert sheepish smile*)

Hehehe.. her original itinerary below.
04/04, Day 01 (Sat) - Touched down in Melbourne, rest and relax
05/04, Day 02 (Sun) - Rippon Lea House & Gardens, Phillip Island
06/04, Day 03 (Mon) - Sand Sculpture in Frankston, Mornington Peninsula, Arthurs Seat
07/04, Day 04 (Tue) - Melbourne CBD (Eureka Tower, Yarra River, St Kilda Beach, Botanical Garden - Free & Easy)
08/04 Day 05 (Wed) - Puffing Billy
09/04 Day 06 (Thu) - Great Ocean Road
10/04 Day 07 (Fri) - Great Ocean Road, return to Melbourne
11/04 Day 08 (Sat) - Yarra Valley
12/04 Day 09 (Sun) - St Kilda Beach, or any other CBD
13/04 Day 10 (Mon) - CBD
14/04 Day 11 (Tue) - CBD
15/04 Day 12 (Wed) - Fly out of Melbourne

Sis has very kindly asked if there were anywhere I wanted to go and she would arranged it for the weekend - so you can see I wanted to go to Phillip Island and Yarra Valley. I don't mind going to Mornington Peninsula as my previous trip there was only for hot spring and I was sick the last round sis came. She only had a quick visit to Mornington as well. However as plans do go wrong sometimes... we didn't pre-book our Phillip Island tickets and they were sold out! We forgo Mornington Peninsula and off to Phillip Island for round 2.

I am in money and holidays saving mode at the moment though sitting at home isn't much of money saving either (read: getting driving licence) and day trips helps to ease the itchy feet ;)

Side note: It has been raining and raining, excellent time to be a couch potato, eat some takeaway food and hibernate with a hot chocolate drink!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Licence to ...

If this is really part of my KPI at work, I would be rated "needs development". I can't even remember the reason but after a long 6 years in Australia, I suddenly decided to take up a driving licence here. I'm sure there's something not right in my head when I could've taken the driving test in NSW where there is no hook turns or trams, I didn't.

Australia is not very forgiving when you don't have a driving licence. It doubles as a identity card here, rather than like in Malaysia where IC rules all. Malaysian driving licence unfortunately is not one of the recognized licence where you could just convert. Yes, Malaysians are required to take a practical driving test to have a licence here. In short, start from scratch.

Driving licence in Australia is state governed, so staying in Victoria it is VicRoads. I don't recall the expense of getting a licence in Malaysia and I was sponsored by my father (thanks Dad!) but it certainly isn't cheap here. Also thanks to Little P and her uncle who was willing to loan me the house car and let me practise my measly parking skill.

Car learner permit knowledge test                                                  $  38.90
New learner permit                                                                                $  22.50
Hazard Perception Test                                                                         $  33.70
Driving lessons (6 hours)                                                                      $306.00
Car practical driving test                                                                       $  57.70
Driving licence test includes 90 mins lesson                                $190.00
10 years full licence                                                                                $253.60
Total                                                                                                              $902.40

Passed in first attempt                                                                          Priceless

Side note: Am hungry again...