Life Lately

August disappeared in a blur and I barely know where it went!

For starters, I’m completely addicted to Pokemon Go! I feel like I wasted the first month of play as I only began to understand the complexity of the game like two weeks ago and wish I had done things a bit differently. T has been an absolute monster at the game, going about it with military precision and dedication (as expected) – last week he registered everything available to be caught in Australia. I’ve probably got two to three weeks of hard grind to get the last few difficult ones. When people ask what happens when you catch them all… well that’s probably where the tough journey begins. I’ve still got a lot to learn! I definitely struggle a lot with understanding the Pokemon elements… this is what happens when you don’t grow up playing Pokemon (or watching Pokemon… I watched casually but I followed Dragon Ball a lot more eagerly, haha!)

I’ve also been busy starting a side hustle. It’s been hard and quite stressful, but hopefully it will bring in some extra cash! I definitely want to be as aggressive as possible with my savings/mortgage.

My dad was briefly hospitalised over the weekend because he had a virus that got complicated. Thankfully it was pretty straightforward and apart from quite a lot of pain initially, he’s much better now and back at home. He was very pleased with the ward he got at the Alfred with a wonderful view of Fawkner Park, hehe. The moral of the story: if getting worse, visit the GP again!

A year ago today, I moved into my apartment! I’m looking around now though and I’m pretty embarrassed because of how messy it is – I haven’t cleaned in a long time. Shaking my head.

A winter Saturday

A winter Saturday

The last few days Melbourne has seen some of the coldest June weather in decades. Saturday was actually a really nice day. It was absolutely my kind of weather – crisp and chilly, only a few clouds, no wind (or rain). As a winter lover, I thought it was beautiful, and really wanted to be out and about!

For brunch we checked out Noisette in Port Melbourne. We went to town on pastries and took the cakes for eating later. It was nice, but the pastries were not outstanding. Given it’s reputation, I was slightly underwhelmed.

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After several changes of plan (I wanted to go to a market but they would probably close soon after we could get there), we just spent the afternoon walking around the city. I couldn’t believe that it was only a few days ago when Melbourne was enveloped in so much fog that the top of buildings weren’t even visible.

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I picked up a treat for myself from La Belle Miet. The one at the end of Collins St is so tiny and adorable but really needs better signage. It’s no wonder I never noticed it before.

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For dinner we tried out Ponshu Kiroro, a relatively new Japanese restaurant. They define themselves as Hokkaido fusion cuisine. It was quite nice, but the portions were surprisingly heftier than we had anticipated. We totally could have done without the kurobuta ribs, which we ended up taking almost all of back home (and were also a bit rubbery and chewy). The chicken senbei was not what I had expected, but addictively good! We’ve already decided to return in the future to try the ramen and other dishes. Having learnt from our mistakes this time, we will order with restraint.

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New in: Stuff I got lately

Do excuse me if this post is rather rambly, as I am sick – I’m at that stage where my illness is still getting a lot worse before it gets better.

First up is an his and hers order from Uniqlo that came in a few days ago. Uniqlo was doing a winter sale on winter staples the previous week. It was a good time for T to get another cashmere jumper and a merino wool sweater. He already owns these, and being a creature of habit who dislikes shopping, getting the same things in different colours is the way to go. The cashmere jumper was a good price, down from $149.90 to $99.90 (no longer on sale). Between us I’m pretty sure we own almost every fabric that Uniqlo makes clothes in! I also ordered a cable knit jumper that’s been on my wishlist. It wasn’t on sale but as an online order I will be getting a few dollars of cashback.

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Uniqlo Middle Gauge Cable Crew Neck Sweater via Uniqlo | Extra Fine Merino V Neck Sweater (Men) Uniqlo | Cashmere V Neck Sweater (Men) via Uniqlo

I also finally upgraded my phone to the iPhone 6s (from 5c – blue) in rose gold. I was unsure about upgrading because at this time of year it’s closer to the release of iPhone 7 than the release of iPhone 6s. I picked a case from Sonix. This wasn’t the case I wanted the most but all the ones I wanted would be expensive to buy from America.

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Sonix Rosalie iPhone 6/6s case via JB Hi-Fi; via ShopSonix

A few days ago my parents also came back from six weeks of travelling. It was so good to see them again! They brought back with them sooo much stuff for me (I had only asked them to keep an eye out for one thing). I was really spoilt rotten! There were a lot of random souvenirs including snacks. I love geting food! I was pretty excited for the snacks. They very kindly got me a perfume I’ve been wanting for a long time as it was about 30% cheaper overseas in duty free than it retails for in Australia. Thank you so much, parents!

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English Pear & Freesia! (Probably can’t even read it)

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Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne via Jo Malone

Also how about these super adorable mug and bowl lids? Love them! Thanks to my aunt for picking these for me.

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By far the most unbelievable thing they got me was a new suitcase. I certainly didn’t need one and this was way too much money spent on a suitcase for me (I literally can’t even bring myself to think how much it costs)! Plus bringing a suitcase back from across the globe! Eep! This makes me feel so guilty. #feelingsuperspoilt But it is incredibly pretty and well made.

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First home anniversary!

I had originally intended to post about something else on my mind, but when I got home today I had a mail from the real estate agent congratulating me on my first home anniversary. It took me a while to process because I’ve certainly not lived here for a year yet. I realised that the agent meant a year since the contract signing… so I guess anniversary of the actual purchase?

I dug through the contract and it turns out it was officially signed off at the start of June. I had first signed my preliminary offer in the last week of May. We negotiated for a week and then the owners signed off. Then I had a 90-day settlement – gosh 90 days can be a long time.

I can’t believe it’s been a year! I had been apartment hunting for a few months, but when I found this one, I pretty much had a feeling instantly that I would be serious about it. I think it was only a couple of weeks between my first inspection and making a serious offer to buy. The whole process was stressful, exciting and more stressful. There were various bouts of panic too (what’s new?). I had no real idea what I was doing, and no one really had clear and consistent answers for me. Somehow I managed alright, by constantly nagging and querying everyone involved (a lot). I couldn’t have done it without the support of the people around me, their experiences, and Google!

I still have a long way to go in the short and long term plans for this apartment and my financial goals. One step at a time.

(The picture is actually from when I officially settled the property and got my keys. The agents gave me champagne and that was the first picture I took in the pitch black apartment without electricity.)

My top five podcasts

Recently I’ve really gotten into podcasts! I’m usually listening to them during the commute to and from work, and sometimes when I’m doing housework. I love how engaging they are and sometimes feel like listening to a conversation. So far these are my favourite (highly recommended) podcasts:

Serial

Like many people, this is how I was introduced to podcasts! I believe this is still the most popular podcast worldwide. Serial is described as: “A podcast from the creators of This American Life. One story. Told week by week. Hosted by Sarah Koenig.” This isn’t a constant podcast, so far there are two seasons and there will be a wait for the third seasons. Sarah Koenig is an amazing story teller as she digs into the case for each season (both season’s cases are still ongoing). Even episode to episode, going over the case again and again at different angles, it doesn’t feel old or boring. I’m always completely zoned out of everything else around me when listening to this. Episodes are long and have a lot of content to follow. I appreciate the humongous amount of information digging that has gone on and it is amazing how the team piece together the details. I liked season one a lot more because season two was a bit complicated and harder to follow (for me) with all the army politics and background.

Real Crime Profile

Join Jim Clemente (former FBI profiler), Laura Richards (formerly of New Scotland Yards, Founder and Director of Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service) and Lisa Zambetti (Casting director for CBS’ Criminal Minds) as they profile behavior from real criminal cases.” The first several episodes covered the Making A Murderer documentary and the rest of the episodes so far (except for one) have been covering The People vs O. J. Simpson drama, both of which have been hugely successful productions about real crime. This podcast is more of a roundtable discussion, and I love how conversational it is. It’s been fascinating listening to these people with experience in law enforcement talk about these two wildly popular television productions and the real cases behind them, in particular shedding light about criminal and victim behaviour, how law enforcement works in certain ways and how it works badly in certain ways. They often use their work experiences in helping to explain these things. I actually started but stopped watching Making A Murderer and The People vs O. J. Simpson, but that hasn’t taken away from the value and interest of these podcasts.

This American Life

Described as: “There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe.” The overarching themes sound vague, but the stories (often told by various people) tie in well with the episode’s title and are incredibly interesting – sometimes funny, sometimes sad, something thought provoking and sometimes utterly bizarre and ridiculous. The episodes are long but divided into roughly three acts with different stories.

Planet Money

The economy explained“, this is a podcast all about money, but told as stories in a way that everyone can understand. Each episode takes something that we might have all heard about but don’t know the details. Or it could be some aspect of economy we’ve never heard about. How does a shell company work? What is citizenship for sale? Can there be a bank without interest? I don’t have a background in economics and this podcast isn’t targeting those with one. Telling stories to explain various aspects of economies that I’ve never thought about, I find each episode absolutely fascinating. Episodes are nice and short so easy to get through.

Freakanomics

A spawn of the hugely successful Freakanomics book, “Host Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.” These lengthy episodes are quite content-heavy, talk about everything under the moon and may vaguely touch upon economics. But again, no interest or background in economics is needed to enjoy this podcast.

Please let me know what your favourite podcasts are!