We had a lovely day near the Yarra Valley. To start off our day trip we had to have coffee of course! This beautiful restaurant is homely, seats plenty and has a great dining area but also sells local goods, wine and pastries.
So my last post was quite awhile ago and I’m now a married woman! A very happily, joyfully married woman!
I’ll try to keep it brief but I tend to stress a lot about pleasing others and how my actions affect people (even the tiniest things that don’t really matter e.g. petty things). I’m trying to work through it but often as a result I feel stuck (helpless because I don’t think I can make everyone happy and meet the expectations, or tired because I’m working too hard on petty things). I’m so glad that as the days of the wedding came closer, I felt a lot more at peace about everything. God really showed me love and support through my closest friends and my family. Not only love but also really remembering the purpose of a wedding and a lifetime of marriage gave me peace because I felt so excited to marry my now husband.
The wedding day itself was wonderful. I’m so grateful for the many, many hands who helped and those who stepped into help without even being asked. I literally had nothing to worry about and all I could see was laughter, smiles and love.
Whilst it is just one day, it was such a great day to our start of married life. We loved the speeches and it was so nice to have proper conversations with those around us. Our pastor reminded us what a Christian marriage looks like and how we’re not perfect but Jesus is and we’ll need to remember His sacrificial love when we’re so frustrated with our spouses! We can forgive because we’ve been forgiven. We can have the strength to have grace because God showed us grace. The sermon was pretty funny too with some silly digs at Aaron.
As we said in our speeches, really the rest of our lifetime being married is the most important part to remember and we need to be kept accountable to our vows.
It’s only been a couple of months but I am loving married life! My husband has been so easy to get along with and we still share laughs and silly moments each day. We’re still learning more about each other but he’s been a great support and we work well as a team with the chores.
I know it’s not always going to be easy but I feel so much peace knowing that we are committed to each other and the vows we share are strong and not to be taken lightly. Marriage is sacred and I have vowed to keep my promises in all seasons and emotions.
A cheeky bitmoji my Fiance created of us years back when…
Planning a wedding is difficult and it has brought me more stress and worries than I could have specifically imagined. I think this is because outside of this, I already am a worry wart.
I am grateful that I have my Fiance by my side supporting me all the way. Like we laughed about today, if it wasn’t for each other, we wouldn’t even be in this situation. This is only the beginning of many more hardships and challenges of commitment we will face. We only think we know what hardship is.
During this season of wedding planning, I have been challenged by so many things. Thinking about a wedding and getting married brings up topics of what getting married really means (what we’re saying yes to and what we might be letting go of), who are our true friends, what do our families value, what do we actually want our wedding to be about – and is that actually the reality? It has brought some harsh realizations, extreme feelings of guilt and insecurities as I make transitions, sacrifices and face the change ahead of me. When it all gets so overwhelming I have tried to pray and put my focus on God, but honestly it has been difficult to stop listening to my own voice and hear God’s. I am excited to get married and I am excited to celebrate and make this commitment but only as long as it is truly God centered. I can only have joy then because I won’t be focused on anything else and my attention will be on the truth. By being God centered, that is the only way I can truly love, respect and honor my future husband. However, I’m human and I can’t always do that and before I know it I get swept up in worries and thoughts that aren’t beneficial or productive.
I feel that by worrying so much, I have become selfish and so self focused because I have forgotten to cast my worries to my Creator. I have forgotten to focus on Him. Him being God, the creator of the universe; the one who gave me/us life, who is sovereign, who gave me the opportunity to meet my Fiance (in what I truly believe is such an unlikely relationship for starters), who has helped me every single day since the day I was born, who chose me despite my unworthiness – I could really go on and on, is here for me. What is actually important to God? God isn’t condemning me despite my imperfections and my mistakes, and because HE is judge, I should stop judging myself and let Him do it. And if He chooses to forgive me and love me, I need to learn to accept it. Who do I think I am placing all these high expectations on myself?
I am surrounded by loving people that God has provided me and I am unbelievably blessed. I don’t know why I spend time worrying when I have God on my side, my fearless leader who will always protect me and help me to face everything ahead of me.
And just like the song In Christ Alone says, I can have peace.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
I need these constant reminders to help me through, not only with wedding planning, but everything in life that comes my way.
After having a series of difficult conversations with my Fiance today, a lot of them where I felt very overwhelmed and incomprehensible (because I had too many thoughts going in my mind), it just so coincidentally happened that a friend of mine posted the below picture on Facebook.
I sent to it my Fiance and he replied, “I don’t think you’re irrational”.
That’s probably one of the most sweetest things he could have said.
Not too long ago I went to visit the NGV Triennial and it was great! There were plenty of exhibits to see and engaging works too. I couldn’t believe it was free to see and I loved that it was. The exhibition runs until 15 April so there’s still plenty of time to check it out.
Here are some photos I took to remember the day:
It was a really fun day and I loved being involved in Yayoi Kusama’s flower room.
The menu at Humble Rays is filled with a huge variety of flavour packed dishes. It was so difficult to decide what to order and if I’m back in the area I’ll definitely come back to try more. We were greeted with a friendly smile and nice service throughout our meal. We also did not have to wait long for our orders despite us arriving around 10AM on a Saturday (prime time).
Three lattes // approx $4 each. Soy +.50, Skinny & Regular
I was very content with the size of their standard coffee (probably equates to a medium sized coffee) but the presentation of my soy latte was really disappointing… I don’t even have to point it out – you can see for yourself in the picture above. Not sure what happened there (even the waitress looked sheepish when she gave it to me) but the taste did make up for it. It was a deeeelicious tasting soy latte!
Egg Benny // $18.50 Ginger Braised Pork Belly, Miso & Potato Korokke, Almond & Cashews Dukkah, Yuzu Hollondaise, Chilli Bacon Jam, Parsley Crumbs.
My friend ordered this dish after reading the raving reviews online. I was seriously tempted too but thought I’d try something else on the menu. Her verdict? It did have tasty flavours but one of the larger slices of pork belly was tough and overcooked. If it had been soft like her other pieces, it would have made a great meal.
Crab Meat Scramble // $18.50 Crab Meat Scramble Eggs, Asian Herbs, Fried Shallot, Sriracha Mayo, Red Chilli, Chilli Oil
This was amazing. I loved this dish – the flavours were terrific. I was worried it would be plain but it only took one tiny bite to change my mind. I’m not sure how they achieve it but these eggs tasted like they were brewed in some type of stock or Continue reading
Last month my friends and I headed over to Son In Law with great excitement – particularly after we saw this restaurant appear on suggested food eats, blogs and watched this cute video on their fairy floss milk tea. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to our expectations.Upon first glance, everything looked quite good. It’s a small restaurant so if you’re going in a group of more than four I would definitely book. It was not too busy when we arrived but it did pick up by the time we left. We were not greeted with friendliness and while I believe the staff were not trying to be rude, their curtness and ‘efficiency’ to get us a table came across as unfriendly. I had booked a table so it should have been organised already and it should not have been a surprise that we were there. In fact, it was kind of annoying because they called me twice to confirm I was still coming. I thought once was enough…
Matcha Cocktail // Approx. $10
Overall their drink menu was very extensive and they also have happy hour which is a big plus! Their rainbow milk tea is SO overpriced but we thought since it seemed to be their specialty we had to give it a go. The rainbow fairy floss milk tea is an unbelievable $12. However, after we started ordering, we were told the machine had broke and we would not be able to order it. Since we had still fitted the time frame for happy hour, we got some other drinks. The matcha cocktail looked so pretty, but it tasted unpleasant. I love matcha but it had a slight medicine taste which was off putting. The regular Thai milk tea was super sweet but I think that’s what Thai milk tea is anyway.Deep Fried Chicken Ribs (6 pieces) // $14
The Cellar Door is a modern Australian restaurant with a beautiful rustic atmosphere.On this night there was a live musician preforming – unfortunately he was on the other side but he sounded lovely.We came by for dinner and was impressed by the descriptions of the mains. They use such descriptive and promising words which definitely raised our expectations and anticipation for ‘amazing’ and ‘impossibly fresh’ food. Polenta Chips with Truffle Aioli // $9
The polenta ‘chips’ was something nice to nibble on and share with everyone. It was quite salty so the truffle aioli helped cut through it a bit. While they were good the saltiness was the let down.
Braised Lamb with Nutmeg and Pine Nut Pastry with Asian Greens, Parsnip Puree, Sumac and Onion Pickle // $36
Loved the presentation but it was a failure. The pulled lamb flavour wasn’t right because it was overpowered by saltiness. I really enjoyed the parsnip puree but it couldn’t compete with the saltiness of the lamb. The parsnip puree was long gone before the lamb. Continue reading
Pintoh had a fairly modern and clean design for a casual dining restaurant. It’s one of those restaurants I’d pop by with a friend for a catch up (when you don’t want to go to a dingy Asian restaurant but also don’t want to spend a crazy amount either). The menu is extensive, sells well and is designed nicely. It does not give dull vibes; it’s stylish but unfortunately, it sells better in paper than in person. Seared Scallop Tataki // $4.00 p.p. with spicy lime and chilli dressing
This was a massive let down. It’s overpriced and the quality was poor. It was disappointing that the natural sweetness of a fresh scallop was not there. For the size, $4.00 for one scallop was a big rip off.
Small Pork Ribs // $14.00 with apple, pink radish, walnut and herb salad
This is a small sharing plate and it was tasty. Again, overpriced… On to taste though – the ribs were indeed marinated with soy and it was very tender. I also really enjoyed the salad. It was a good pair and with the citrus dressing, which helped make this dish more refreshing and light.
Henry and the Fox was packed on a Friday night (mostly filled with those having after work drinks) so the atmosphere was booming! I came by for dinner so if you’re considering a meal I’d recommend a booking. Arancini Ball // approx. $9
Everything an arancini ball should be. It had a great golden crunch and presentation was on point. Overpriced for what it is IMO but worth a try if you feel like splurging. It’d be nice if you could get two for $9… #ifonly
Arancini Ball // approx. $9
See how good it looks right?
Cassarecci Pasta with Seafood // approx. $30
A really disappointing dish. The description was impressive, and the flavour was there but it was very stingy. Even from the picture it looks pretty small for a $30 dish. There was barely any seafood (one prawn and a few mussels) so it felt unsatisfying.Scotch Fillet with Frisee and Potatoes // approx. $40
This is what I ordered. Prior reviews recommended steak so I thought I might as well go for it. I requested medium rare and it was spot on. The steak was deeeeliiicious! Continue reading
Often, special occasions are heightened by the anticipation of a delicious meal. This time I was really looking forward to trying out the set menu at Izakaya Den. It’s been a while since I’ve had really nice Japanese food and Izakaya Den has made an excellent name for itself. We chose the $55 Kuikku set menu (however we ended up adding extra a la carte options spontaneously, so it probably worked out to be similar to the $65-$75 mark with drinks). There were eleven ‘dishes’ inclusive of the set menu but they came out in groups. E.g. three dishes would come out at the same time, then there would be a slight break and then the next four dishes came out etc. We added on the scallop, prawn and dessert dishes separately.Can I just say how crazy their drink menu is? It’s not featured on the Zomato page, but trust me it is extensive. They have creative scroll menus (which if I’m to be critical, can be a bit annoying to look through) which is packed with Japanese alcoholic beverages. If you’re after something sweet and less ambitious I’d highly recommend the Kirin Fuji Apple Cider (absolutely delicious and refreshing.) Admittedly it is very sweet but tastes just like Fuji apple.
1. Sweet Corn ‘kaki-age’ with matcha salt
This was a good start to the meal. Simple but tasty – you can’t go wrong with corn right? The matcha salt (loving the colour) was a unique addition but I found the corn to have enough flavour on its own anyway.
2. Spicy Tuna Tataki
It might be difficult to tell but basically there was six of us and each person is allocated a fair share. E.g. with the tuna tataki there were 2 platters of 6 pieces, meaning 2 pieces of tuna each. There were 2 sauces; one sauce has a strong horseradish type of flavour (quite overpowering – a similar kick to wasabi but I really liked it), and the other a more subtle seafood mayo type of flavour. The tuna tataki is raved about on Zomato and it was decent. 3. Grilled Sweet Potato & Shittake Mushroom
Honestly there’s not a whole lot to say about this one. It’s simple and tasty but also not something I’d order at a premium restaurant (just because it’s not value for money). Normally $9 for the pair.4. Fantastic Prawns with Yuzu Mayonnaise (ordered separately, 3 for $12)
I believe seafood is definitely a strength of Izakaya Den. The ‘fantastic’ prawns did live up to its name being juicy and flavoursome. The yuzu wasn’t obvious to me but I’d recommend trying the prawns. They’re not stingy sized either. 5. Hervey Bay Scallops with Lemon Soy and Panko (ordered separately, 3 for $12)
This was also a highlight. The scallops were cooked perfectly. I would have preferred it without the panko (the scallops were cooked so nicely that I just wanted to enjoy the purity of it). I felt the panko took the scallop flavour away so I scraped most of mine off. Continue reading