Friday, 30 November 2012

and Upmarket & Vic Parks Christmas Street Market

and a day for markets
Upmarket & Vic Parks Christmas Street Market

On Sunday I treated myself to two markets. Markets are quickly becoming a favourite of mine and I normally go with a few old school friends but they couldn't make it this time. So I headed to Perth Upmarket all on my lonesome. It wasn't horrible at all (although markets with friends is much more fun) since I am use to shopping by myself. It had a Christmas vibe about the place with lots of gift ideas and hand made decorations. I picked a few presents for some of my relatives as well as a few presents for myself.

I picked up an amazing smelling candle from Wicked Wix. I chose the Brown Sugar and Vanilla candle which has a sweet and delicious smell. I also brought a sewing kit form Megan Nielson to create the 'Darling Ranges' dress. I have 'sew a dress' on my 30 before 30 list and since I haven't done much sewing since high school I thought it would be a perfect way to create my dress. The kit comes with a pattern as well as fabric, buttons, elastic etc. It's an adorable design as well and the material is very cute.

I then ate and ate and ate. I also brought a 4 pack of cupcakes to take home. Gave two to the plus one and the proceeded to eat the other two. They were delicious.  Not only were they lovingly decorated but the cake had bits and pieces in it as well. Which always makes for a delicious treat.


Moroccan Beef

Poffertjes pancakes

The cupcakes!

Cookies & Cream

Later that day, the plus one and I headed into Vic Park for a street festival. I was under the impression that there was going to be lots of markets stalls but there were only a few. Along the road, restaurants had little street carts out the front selling street food. We had teriyaki chicken from Senoji, which is probably our favourite Japanese restaurant. I enjoyed some Girl Guide home made biscuits and I also had a home made choc bomb.
Crowded streets

Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea with Chocolate Sago

Oh and some bubble tea. Some of the stores along the street were also open late and we wandered through Crow Books as well as one of my favourite stores, Nosh.

I am off down south for a long weekend.
I hope everyone else has a great weekend.

Love, love Elle.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

and Bluff Knoll

and up a mountain (part 2)
Bluff Knoll

So after leaving Castle Rock we headed to Bluff Knoll. Bluff Knoll is the highest point in the south of Western Australia and is located in the Stirling Ranges. I had missed a few opportunities in the past to climb with other friends so I added climbing it to my 30 before 30 list. That meant that I had to jump and the next opportunity to climb it. We sat under a canopy at the carpark and had lunch, before setting out at around 12 to start our hike. After about 1km one of our friends was getting sick from a headache (which was also plaguing her at Castle Rock) So we sat down in the shade for a while and they decided to head back to the carpark and then home. We continued along the trail and up the mountain. It was quite hot. We hadn't planned to be there so late in the day but because we hadn't realised how long the Castle Rock trail was, we were walking in the hottest part of the day.

Bluff Knoll

We stopped for breathers and a water break a few times and as we started reaching the top the wind was picking up and cooling us down. Other then few mountains in the range the rest of the land is fairly flat. The landscape in Australia is very old so only a few mountain ranges still exist. Our highest points are tiny in comparison to other continents. November is the end of the wild flower season here and the plateau at the top was covered in a sea of white and yellow. When we reached the top we found a flat area and sat down to rest and eat. I made a trail mix a few days earlier using left over nuts, coconut slithers and chocolate bits. We then sat around and enjoyed the view.

On the way up

Looking up towards the summit


Looking down at the carpark

Sheer cliff

My Dunlops hanging off the edge.

The carpark from where we hiked.

Lady bugs were everywhere. Even on the summit.

Looking along the mountain range

At the top

The walk down was a lot easier but it was so windy that I was holding on to my hat for most of it. We reached the bottom at around quarter to 4. We sat at the base intending to relax but the wind was so strong we went and hoped into our car instead. We stopped in at the cafe near by for some sports drinks and icecream before heading north on the Great Southern Highway. I had never been on this road before and it took us around huge wheat farms and past lots of little towns. We finally made it to Wagin where we jumped out and took a few photos of the Giant Ram. We then continued onto Albany Highway and home. We arrived back a bit before 9pm and I was exhausted.

Me with the Giant Ram

I was sore for days afterwards. The backs of my calves where aching especially when I was pointing my toes. I am sure I looked funny for a few days attempting to walk. I am heading off south again in a couple of weeks. This time to Nannup with a large group of friends.

Love, love Elle.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

and Nomads Guest House - Mt Barker

and up a mountain (part 1)
Mt Barker

I am exhausted after my weekend. Almost no relaxing was had. Myself, my plus one and two of our friends headed off on Saturday morning to Mt Barker in the South West of Western Australia. Mt Barker is a cute little town around 50km north of Albany and around 370km south east of Perth. We arrived just after lunch and stopped in at a local Cafe for something to eat. It was almost 2 and they were about to close so we took our lunch and sat on the grass across the road.

 Gorgeous Mt Barker day (minutes after we were attacked by a Willy-willy)

After picking up a few supplies we went to our accommodation for the night. I have a thing for finding and staying in alternative types of accommodation. This time I found Yurts. Nomads Guest House is on the edge of Mt Barker but still in walking distance to the centre.

Our Yurt for the night

When wearrived on of the owners showed us around and introduced us to some of their animals. They are kangaroo carers, so myself and another got to feed two of the joeys some milk. We also met their sheep and their gorgeous dog, Siben.

One of the Joeys.

Siben. He didn't like getting his photo taken.

We sat around for a while relaxing (the only time all weekend) and had a look through some of the brochures and started thinking about what we wanted to do for dinner and breakfast the next morning. Just after 6 we piled into one car and headed down to Albany, to The White Star, for dinner. We shared some yummy garlic bread for starters and I enjoyed a cocktail called 'Fruit of the Womb'. I didn't particularly like the name ,but the drink was delicious. I then had a huge and delicious Chicken Parmigiana for dinner and finished with a 'Trio of Chocolate' for desert with a cup of vanilla tea. We then took a short walk over a pedestrian bridge and then back to the car.

My dessert! AMAZING!

We had an early start the next day and went to the Mt Barker Country Bakery for breakfast. I had a chicken and vegetable pie and shared this German sausage thing with my plus one. We then headed out of town towards the Porongurups. We then visited Castle Rock. The hike was around 4.2km return with a short 62m scramble up some rocks and then up a ladder to a brand new skywalk at the top. I have a small memory of visiting Castle Rock and Balancing rock, which is right next to it, when I was around 8. We hadn't actually realised how long the walk was going to be until we set out and saw the first distance marker. For some reason we neglected to check this before we decided to head out. It was a gorgeous walk none the less and the view from the top was sensational.

Balancing Rock and the view from the top of Castle Rock

View from Castle Rock

Beautiful day

We then headed of towards the Stirling Ranges and that is where I will pick up next time!

On the road again...

Love, love Elle.

Monday, 19 November 2012

and I am suprised

Stylish Surprise has arrived!

They have such cute boxes

My mystery item has arrived from Modcloth. As soon as I opened the box I smiled. It was black. I have an affiliation with black, too much though. I have been expanding my colour palette lately but black will always be my favourite. I opened up the plastic cover and out came a dress. It had ruffles and polka dots and the label says 'Cocolove'. It's a polyester dress with a little added spandex. the material feels a bit funny but still looks pretty nice.

So I have been searching Modcloth to find out more about the dress, but they have nothing by Cocolove listed. So I started searching the internet to find out more. I started getting bits of information by finding other dresses by Cocolove but it was proving difficult to find the dress I had received. But I couldn't find a thing. So this mystery dress really is a surprise.

I took it home and tried it on. I was a little puzzled with which was the front and which was the back. Since the back seemed like it would make a nice front. I went with the obvious answer of the tag at the back. I slipped the dress on and started doing it up but came to a halt around the middle of my chest. Errmmm. So I thought I would have more luck with the back at the front. Same thing. It didn't go up past my chest. So I tried one more time with the front at the front. But it was all in vain. The dress didn't fit and no diet and exercise could change that fact. Which was, and always is, a possibility. Although I matched my measurements to the size I chose, some dresses are just not designed for ladies with a large cup size, just as some dresses aren't designed for ladies with a smaller cup size. So now I have a pretty dress from Modcloth which does not fit. I have hung it up until I decide what to do with it.

Here are some pictures I took of it on a hanger anyway.

Cute mesh details!

Love, love Elle.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

and the boat that rocked

Sunday in the sun

I really did intend to clean on Sunday, honest! But I had also planned to bake, make jam and go exploring. I made my cake, watched a movie at lunch, dropped off the plus one at Matilda Bay, then I headed into Victoria Park to go to the centenary of Edward Millen House.

It was a gorgeous day for it. The Town of Victoria Park are in the process of conserving the old hospital, which has been used for many different purposes over the years, and they allowed access into some of the restored front rooms. You could also see a few of the rooms under construction and get onto the balcony via the external staircase. I have walked past the grounds on several occasions and I was always interested in getting a closer look.

The day had a fate like atmosphere with a puppet show, a mini ferris wheel, face painting, balloon animals and 2 bands. They started with a brass band and then a jazz band took over later in the afternoon. Students of the nearby school made displays and there were kids dressed in historical attire walking around. The town also supplied free scones with jam and cream as well as free tea and coffee. The only thing you had to pay for was the icecream and book, if you wanted to buy one.

I took my camera and I was a little snap happy. Here are some of my favourites.

View along the balcony

One of my all time favourites; scones with jam and cream

The house looks almost shocked

Hmmm which flavour?

Mars bar!

I love looking at the back of old houses, for some reason...

Jazz hands!

Hidden view 

Main entry

One of my favourite ideas of the day were the 4 artists spotted around on the lawn creating their own individual takes on the house.

After this I went to pick up my plus one from a boat party at Matilda Bay, but ended up going aboard myself instead. So instead of cleaning I spent a few amazing hours on a boat moored off the banks of the Swan River.

With my camera still with me I took a few more pics of the day.
A bay full of blow up rafts

Car boat! It actually drove straight into the water from a boat ramp and out again.


The famous black swans

It's hard to take a photo of yourself with a DSLR

Swans again!

I still managed to make mandarin marmalade that night. I was, however, extremely tired the next day at work. But it was all worth it.

Love, love Elle.
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