Full time work is becoming an occupational hazard to my health.
Although there are free gym memberships, yoga classes and firm netball/soccer/basketball teams; I’m not sure how anyone has any time to attend any of the above if they are actually getting any work done.
Similarly, when I get home from work at 9-10pm, I briefly think about exercising - before realising I haven’t eaten since lunch at 1pm, then becoming overwhelmed by hunger and proceeding to eat the entire contents of my fridge. Once I eat the meal, I can’t exercise because it needs to digest (and I need to further binge on some tv shows). And by the time my dinner finishes digesting, it’s time for bed again.
Adding to the fact that the only exercise I do is walking from my desk to the kitchen (hello, scotch fingers!) is the amount of alcohol intake has exponentially increased (hello, friday night drinks), as has the amount of unhealthy crap I’ve been eating.
(I’m starting to sound like a contestant from The Biggest Loser).
An accurate depiction of me, every night.
It’s a common theme around Sydney - that in the initial stages of joining a law firm, you get sucked into the (delicious) bi-weekly birthday cakes, don’t have time to exercise and just eat weight watchers frozen meals for dinner because you’re too fried to make any other food. Some firms affectionately called it the (insert law firm name) Five, after the five kilos you gain from working there.
This week, I’m going to get my shit together; start running again and slowly work my way back to a decent fitness level. I’ve also steamed some veggies to eat with my red rice and chicken.
Have you gained (insert law firm name) Five? How do you deal with this healthy work-life balance conundrum?
Sometimes my friends and I have some (what we think are) really awesome ideas. One such idea came from living in a sharehouse with four other people and with only one bathroom.
We decided everytime someone needed to use the bathroom for “vigorous bathroom activity”, we would give the others a time warning after we were done. For example “bro, I wouldn’t go in there for 10 minutes”. Depending on the “vigour” of the bathroom activity, we would adjust the time accordingly to 15, 20 or 30 minutes.
If only we know about APC’s post-poo drops.
Apparently these post-poo drops effectively neutralise any weird smells and no timer system is needed.
What a great idea!
Do you have any home procedures or policies around the use of a bathroom?
As a person working in an office environment, amongst people prodominantly in their late twenties and early thirties, I have noticed that the conversations that we engage in all revolve around:
For someone who doesn’t have their shit together at all in any of the above areas, I really have nothing to contribute to these conversations. Whilst all of my work-mates are doing all of these awesome things with their lives, I’m getting home after work and eating a bowl of cereal or packet mi goreng for dinner.
Similarly, I always feel like I need a really awesome response to the Friday question “What are you doing on the weekend!?” or the Monday question “how was your weekend?!”. Whilst other people have really great stories (mainly revolving around the abovementioned topics house-hunting/engagements/weddings/kid stuff), I feel the need to say more than “recovering from my Friday night hangover and sleeping all the way until I have to come back to work on Monday”.
On the few occasions I actually got my shit together and rolled out of bed on the weekend, I had breakfast at Bills in Surry Hills.
Breakfast fried rice.
I definitely understand why Bills is such a Sydney institution now. The breakfast was amazing. I had the corn fritters which I forgot to photograph but it was so packed full of fresh corn, it felt like that McCain ad “the rain’s are ‘ere!” (geez I hope people know what I’m talking about) and the fried rice was just jam packed with flavour.
Anyway, let me know what the conversation is like at your workplace? Are you the only youngen amongst the “elders”? Or am I the only awkward freak who struggles with conversation?
Enjoy the Easter break!
In anticipation of impending doom (read: full time employment) next week, I’ve spent the last few weeks catching up on things that probably will be eradicated from my life such as:
One of those breakfasts was at The Grounds of Alexandria. We circled the block for about 30 minutes, as there was no parking down Huntley St, the adjacent and parallel streets and the carpark. Luckily, someone left and we quickly stole the spot and made it just in time before the breakfast service ceased (11:30am).
We ordered the breakfast board ($19), some coffees ($3.50) and got a brioche ($13) on the house because they ran out of banana bread.
The coffee was amazingly smooth yet strong - probably one of the best coffees in Sydney and as a bonus all of them came out with pretty love hearts (I’m a sucker for gimmicks).
The breakfast board (top) consisted of toasted bread, double smoked ham, poached eggs, feta, pesto, cherry tomatoes and avocado. Although it seems simple, it burst with flavours and everything on the board was so fresh that I probably couldn’t replicate its awesomeness at home.
The brioche (bottom left) too was nice, if you are after something sweet. I think the pistachios really made it extra special to eat. It was such a nice gesture that it was on the house, after they ran out of banana bread (what we wanted to order), even though we were happy to pay for it.
Outside, there is outdoor seating, areas for the kids to play, gardens and even some pigs and chooks (I was mighty glad I didn’t order any pork or chicken before venturing outside). There’s even a research facility and markets every first Saturday of the month supporting local businesses. It’s a strange feeling that amongst the industrial warehouses of Alexandria and being so close to the CBD, there is such a wonderful place to relax, absorb the sun and have a really nice breakfast.
The Grounds of Alexandria
7A/2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, NSW
Opening Hrs: Weekdays: 7am-4pm, Weekends 7:30am-4pm
There’s a few weeks of vacation that I have left, and it feels like I have nothing left to do. When I got back from traveling, I fryed my eyeballs watching the AusOpen for 12+ hours of the day for two weeks; but now that that is over, I feel increasingly bored and restless immediately after I wake up.
So, I decided to get around to things I’ll yearn to do when I am working full-time and don’t have the time to. One of those things is getting a juice machine and juicing the crap out of everything!!
My first juicing attempt just involved ‘juicing carrots’ (from which I understand is the term supermarkets use for uglier carrots as opposed to the good looking table carrots). The carrot juice was nice by itself but was even nicer with rockmelon and honeydew. My favourite combination was carrots and watermelon which so healthy tasting and refreshing especially when ice cubes are added.
Another juicing attempt involved celery, broccoli, cucumber and carrots. Celery and broccoli by itself tasted really strong and you really need some fruit e.g. apples to cut the flavour. I added some blueberries, honeydew and rockmelon just to sweeten the juice. Also: beware - when mixing green and orange colours, the juice might come out as an unappetizing brown colour (Whoops, I must have skipped that class in year 1 on the colour wheel).
The great thing about juicing is that you require (practically) no skills whatsoever, you get a refreshing beverage after all your hard work and you get to feel pretty smug afterwards. Win-win!
Anyway, do you guys have any ideas on what I should do to occupy myself over the next two weeks? Also - do you guys juice and what are your favourite recipes? Let me know below, I’d love to try them!
After two months of trekking around 15 countries in Europe then New York and Canada, I’m back in Sydney! It’s taken almost a week to recover from jetlag [sleeping at 7pm and waking up at 3am] and the internal wretchedness of not wanting to go home to keep traveling. It was a good two months of eating and exploring and here’s a snapshot of my favourite food I had overseas.
I over-romanticised the idea of Paris and was shocked to encounter vast amounts of poverty, pick-pockets and an impolite amount of racism to any outsider. What made up for it? The food, of course. The daily baguettes, croissants and pain aux raisins for breakfast from boulangeries which flooded the city were amazing. Then, who can forget the patisseries; filled with zumbo-esque tarts, eclairs and macarons. Last but not least, I loved the hearty French meals including steak tartare, steaks and roast ducks glazed with wonderful cream based sauces and an unhealthy amount of butter which would even scare Iain “Hewy” Hewitson.
12 euros can buy you different amounts in each country. In Spain, it can buy you a frigging HUGE 3 course lunch. This paella was our entree shared between 2 people. It could have fed a starving country! We also got a gigantic mains (calamari and chips), flan for dessert and sangrias. It was a struggle to walk (read: roll) home that day.
Currywurst is a must eat in Germany. It is steamed and fried pork sausage with tomato sauce and curry powder on top. It’s mainly served from food trucks and can cause hypertension because it’s so frigging awesome. We alternated between currywurst and Germany’s other national dish: the falafel kebab.
Kurtoskalacs (or chimney cakes) was something we discovered at the Budapest Christmas Markets. Essentially, it is dough wrapped around a wooden stick and then toasted on the coals until golden brown. Then, you can choose flavours such as chocolate, coffee, cinnamon or vanilla which is dusted on top along with sugar. It is sweet, half crunchy, half soft but is essential to blizzard like temperatures along with a cup of tea.
Denmark aka. the home of candles. Everywhere we went, there were always candles lit up (even at breakfast) and it was explained to us that people spend a lot of time indoors and light candles to create a cosy environment. Denmark is also the home of some awesome food. We had an outstanding meal with super fresh produce at Cafe Paludan - a bookstore/cafe in the university area for around 20AUD.
New York City, USA
I loved every single meal in New York, from the wonderful variety and healthiness of Wholefoods (especially the shelves and shelves of dairy free ice-cream, yoghurt and milk), to Five Guys burgers, Panera and Absolute Bagels, gyros and lamb on rice from the food vendors, yum cha in Chinatown and pastrami sandwiches from Kat’s.
Last but not least is my obsession with TIM HORTONS in Canada. It is a coffee store chain which has more stores in Canada than McDonalds, with one every few metres or so. The thing that kept me coming back every day was their amazing French Vanilla Coffee, super cheap prices and that they are frigging everywhere in Canada. When I got back to the states, I sought out another 3 Timmy’s because my cravings for the coffee was so bad.
There are urban legends that there are drugs (nicotine/cocaine) in the coffee. That would explain why it’s always so packed and why I can’t stop craving it! ;)
The only thing worse than coming back and craving all these things that Australia doesn’t have is suffering from travel withdrawal syndrome, looking and feeling like an out of shape athlete and being depressed from looking at my card statements.
Welcome back to reality!
Over the Christmas/New Year break we were in New York City and stayed in an apartment in the East Village. There were heaps of really good restaurants (e.g. Momofuku and Ippudo) nearby and we decided to check out Momofuku on New Year’s Day.
I get a little bit excited for anything David Chang(!) and almost shit myself when we got there at 9pm. There was an hour wait for a table of three, but one of my mates decided she didn’t want to wait and walked back home. When she left, the remaining two of us were immediately seated at the bar. The lesson here is, go in groups of two people!
Looking around the restaurant, it was filled with a lot of hipster looking people and/or aspiring models. Even the waitstaff and chefs weren’t immune and instead of a uniform, the waitstaff were identifiable by their hipster clothes and caps.
We ordered some soju slushies before ordering Chang’s famous Pork Buns. The pork is thick, melt in your mouth goodness and accompanied with green onion, cucumber and the familiar taste of hoisin sauce (the dipping sauce for pho). I could sit in front of the tele and gladly devour another 5 of those pork buns with a cold beer. Yummmmm
Next up was the momofuku ramen with pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg. Although my ramen was good, the broth was lacking a bit of flavour. I much preferred my best friend’s spicy miso ramen with smoked chicken, green onion and sesame. That ramen was packed with flavour and was so addictive.
The internet is heavily divided with some people thinking that the noodle bar is “overhyped”, “underwhelming” and “full of hipsters”. Although I agree that it is packed with hipsters, I thought the noodle bar was great and would definitely go back again.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Avenue, NYC
Going through the final stages of uni with absolutely zero motivation to finish my take home exams, a thought creeped up on me - that after I hand in this last final exam - that’s it for my university career! 5 years of my life will have elapsed (and I would have nothing to show for it)!
It then got me thinking of all my ‘last’ events that have occured:
UNSW, I’m going to miss you!
Now if you’ve finished uni or your HSC, or even just finished a semester - go on and proceed to part-ay! ;)
I’m not the girliest of girls. Heck, I’d normally have to suppress punching ya in the face if you attempted to talk to me about ‘hair’, ‘nail polish’, ‘shoes’ or ‘flowers’. But when I walked past Laduree on Monday night, it was like someone drugged and/or possessed me to queue up for 30 minutes and pay for a box of macarons at almost $4 each. That’s the only reason, people. The only reason. Otherwise, I blame the seductive pretty pinkness, the bows and boxes and everything screaming Gaye Paris! (Damn you Laduree!!!)
$23 for a box of 6 macarons
I got a mixed box with flavours such as pistachio, rasberry, almond, salted caramel (x 2) and coffee. After reading some of the reviews which said people were underwhelmed and the quality of the macarons weren’t that great - I found them to be quite nice and I actually liked them. They were probably better than the Zumbo and Baroque macarons. They weren’t as sweet as some macarons and the salted caramel was probably the most perfect salted caramel macaron I’ve ever had. Likewise, the pistachio and the almond were really balanced and not overly sweet.
So, overall, the macarons were quite nice but I probably wouldn’t come back due to the long wait and and the price was a bit of a rip.
Have you tried Laduree? What did you think?
Laduree, Westfield Sydney
100 Market St Level 3 Westfield
Sydney, NSW 2000