What’s been happening lately…

Hello hello!  The semester has wrapped up!  I’ve submitted my last assignments, made my last oral presentation and just one exam and two essays to smash before HOLIDAYS! *sigh* I feel like I’ve used up all my words for the next little while so here’s what’s been happening lately in photos and in as few words as possible:

1. I got published!

I probably was just the first person to put up their hand for the job, but it was fun putting a few reviews together for Purely Dicta, the law school magazine :).  I was a bit disappointed that the photos turned out pixilated but apparently there was a problem with the entire file when it went to print so… *shrugs*  Now that it’s been published, I can finally post my thoughts on Middle Fish and Saigon Pho here (soonish)!

2. Facebook hiatus

For the sake of my studies… *sigh* but having said that, I’ve found it liberating to not feel the need to know what is on everyone else’s mind at any given moment… less noise.

3. New header!

See above!! :D  As some have already noted, there is indeed a lovely header created by a law school friend of mine. JZ!  Isn’t she so talented?  I gave her an idea of food and photography and she came up with that :D!  Looks a little bit like April‘s now that I think of it… anyway, I hope to bake her something yummy to say thank you after exams… maybe Wince’s thank you cookies? :P

4. Snag Stand

There’s a funny story as to how I ended up at a hot dog joint and got a sausage but no bread… story for another post (though no promises that it’ll be as funny as it seems right now in my head).  Thanks to Libby for raising my curiosity to give them a try though :).

5. Oriental Teahouse

Had an impromptus catch up at one of the new additions to the Melbourne Central eatery scene, Oriental Teahouse.  A lovely ‘Relaxing Tea’ along with some dim sum after my last class for the semester…

6. I MADE A QUICHE

not the greatest photo but it was delicious!

I saw SUPER.  I saw SIMPLE.  I knew I had to make it!  See the photo of the full quiche dish in the Instagram feed.  I’ll post up my version after exams (had to make some adjustments) but essentially I followed Peas and Crayon’s recipe ^^.  SO YUMMY!  Gonna reheat the leftovers from yesterday night and eat it now!

7. Impulse buys…

I may or may not have taken advantage of Book Depository 10% off sale a few weeks ago and there may or may not be a copy of Hunger Games in the top package that came today.  And of course I didn’t get sucked into purchasing two cute dresses and a pretty skirt after reading Karen Cheng’s post on Sunnygirl ahem.

OKAY.  That used more words than I anticipated lol but anyways, that’s the short version of what’s been happening lately :D.

Hope you’ve all been well!  Apologies if I disappear from the blog-o-sphere in the next couple of weeks, lots of cramming and essaying ahead!  Know I still love you guys and hope you’ll join me for more foodie and photographic adventures in the future :).  Take care and best wishes for all the uni students out there! WE CAN DO IT! [insert name] FIGHTING~

Random Question: Have you read or watched Hunger Games?  What did you think of it? 

Bonus question: Where’s a good Melbourne restaurant venue to host an event for 80+ people?

♥ Ames

Like mother, like daughter? feat. Cacao Macarons

Whether we like it or not, there are some habits or characteristics that we’ll get from either of our parents.  Some good, some not so good haha

As I was assignmenting away two nights ago and with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought about some of the things I’ve picked up from my mum and what things set us apart… here are a few that came to mind…

Mum and I on her birthday a few years ago...

1. Great storyteller

My mum is an amazing storyteller!  She’s one of those people who can tell you all the little details of a particular scenario down to the expression that someone had on their face, all the while keeping your attention – even if it’s a story that takes 10 minutes to tell!  I, on the hand, start to get bored of my own voice after a minute or two so will probably start telling you a funny story and then half-way through, I’ll just give up and say, ‘You just had to be there!’  Need to improve in this area…

2. Procrastinator

Unfortunately, this is a habit that we’ve both trying to shake.  We were both up to the wee hours of the morning yesterday…

3. Night owl

Whereas my mum functions well at night, I’m more of a morning person.  I’d much rather sleep early to wake up early than vica versa if you know what I mean…

4. Musical

Music definitely runs on mum’s side of the family with all of her siblings and herself singing in the church choir back in Vietnam and her younger brother (my uncle) is the director of a music school in Sydney :).  Definitely glad I got her genes in this area ;).

Earlier this year :)

5. Doesn’t like to cook

Heresy, right?  Well before my mum married my dad, she rarely cooked and thankfully for her, my dad was/is a pretty good cook having worked in many a Chinese restaurant when he first came out to Australia.  Having been married for over 25 years now, she has a number of amazing dishes under her belt and lots of different cooking techniques, however, she’d still rather stay out of the kitchen if possible.  Me? I’d love to cook if I had the time :P.

6. Teacher

Runs in our blood.  ‘Nuff said.

7. Sweets

Sadly, my mum developed Type 2 diabetes around the time she had me so my dad and I are always trying to keep the sweets away from her… including these lovely macarons that I got as a gift from my first official photography gig last night:

Cacao Macarons *drool*

Apparently, her diabetes is hereditary so I have to make sure I don’t overdose on the sugar and have to forsake these lovelies forever…

French Vanilla - love the colours!! (pls excuse my thumb)
Pistachio (regular flavour) and Burnt Orange (seasonal flavour)

My dad had never had macarons before so I had the Burnt Orange and French Vanilla and let him have the rest… he really liked them hehe and so did I ;).  The delicate shells cracks the moment you bite into them and the ganache was smooth and packed with flavour.  I had the Burnt Orange after having put it in the fridge and tasted just as good if not better than the French Vanilla which I had on the way home hehe!

Cacao has a number of different locations and items can be bought online as well!  Interesting fact: Their macarons are gluten free and Cacao won Melbourne’s Best Macaron in 2010!

Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Gift for your mum, maybe? :)

I know that not everyone has their mum by their side or perhaps like my dad’s mum (my grandma) they have passed away and Mother’s Day is more sad than happy.  However, I think that no matter where our mums may be, there are things about them that make them unique and special to us… and that’s something we can all celebrate!

Q: What characteristics or habits have you inherited from your mother? Or what characteristics or habits did you WISH you had inherited from your mother?

♥ Ames

Blogging about blogging

Yesterday was a fitting day to blog about blogging and that was when I began this post.  Why was it such a day?  There were a number of reasons:

1. Blog Friend ‘Catch-Up’

Yesterday ’twas the day I met the wonderful Winston from The Hungry Excavator!  I’ve met a blogger or two in person before but he’s the first from the Melbourne foodie community so it was a momentous occasion :D.  And where better place to meet than over food right?

Gapi Fried Rice from Middle Fish

A Middle Fish review is in the works so I won’t comment on the food in this post but rather on the company :).  It was truly nice in the midst of the busy-ness of preparing for exams, assignments and essays to ‘catch-up’ in the flesh with a friend you’ve only known through words and photography.  Blogger-real-life meet ups are perhaps one of the most satisfying kind of encounters because in many respects, you’ve already caught glimpse of the person’s life and personality and given that you will tend to have a few things in common already (in this case, uni student and food blogger/lover amongst other things), there’s less awkwardness and you can speak to things that you’d probably not get into detail if meeting anyone else for the first time.  Awesome :D.

2. Snail Mail

A belated birthday gift I got in the mail from my S’pore blogging sister! Love you long time, Ange <3

3. New Domain!

I took the plunge and got hosted.  Reasons why and how are probably for a post after exams but for at least the next 24 months, I’m the owner of amelbournegirlatheart.com :).  Still a few things to be done around here but I’m quite happy with the move :).  Not sure if previous subscribers will get updates so please resubscribe if you would like to – thanks!

4. Photo A Day April Challenge Complete!

I guess this isn’t really a reason to blog about blogging but more a reason to blog full stop lol (as are the other reasons below).  Was lots of fun and challenging at times but I really enjoyed seeing what other people took photos of according to the prompts.  I’m not sure if I’ll be joining in this month with the assessment that I have ahead but if you are after the May list, see @FatMumSlim.  My complete Photo A Day April Challenge photos can be found here.

5. Coachella – Brooke Fraser

A song that just puts you in a good mood :).

6. PicFrames (for iPhone and Android)

The best Frames app that I’ve come across so far ($0.99 AUS).

27 April from #photoadayApril

7.  I miss it.

Blogging, that is.  It has always been a way to creatively express myself and I always feel better when I get my thoughts down in words.  So, yes.

OK, better get back into the studying!

Question: Any thoughts on the new site?  Did I make the right decision?

♥ Ames

Back but not…

Hello blog-o-sphere!  Hope you’ve all been well :).  I’ve just returned from a week relaxing up at the sunny Gold Coast!

Took so many photos using the RAW setting that my hard drive has overloaded and have a number of food posts in the works however, having less than a week to start my pre-readings I’m afraid things will have to wait around these parts until I catch myself up on real life.  I’ve also decided to give up this blog for Lent (along with a full fast once a week) so I pretty much won’t be back until after 1 April 2012!

Q: Are you giving up anything for Lent?

In the meantime, check out these blogs I’ve nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award:

They are a mix of blogs on food, faith or fun that I’ve been following and I’m sure they’ll keep you in good stead til I return :).

Thanks to Subhan Zein for nominating me on 15 February 2012!

For this award you have to do a couple of things as follows:

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Seven Things About Me:

  1. My knees go red when I’m nervous.
  2. I can’t ride a bike (yet).
  3. I love anything with berries in it.
  4. I flew in a helicopter onto Uluru once.
  5. I’ve become a gym junkie (I went 3 times while on holiday!).
  6. I’m going to start scholarship tutoring for the first time tomorrow – nervous!
  7. I got sucked in by a TVShop commercial and just bought an InStyler – fun times ahead :D.

Hope you’ll join me in a month or a bit if not over at the other blog ;).

♥ Ames

2011 was the year…

I don’t know about you guys, but 2011 has been a year of lots of changes and personal growth. I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt this year is to let go of things I have no need for (more of that in a later post). On a more light-hearted note, 2011 was the year (in no particular order) I…

  • made cappuccino my default caffeinated drink (I think I will graduate to the skinny latte in 2012)
  • tried chai latte for the first time and liked it ;)
  • began to eat wasabi with my sushi
  • visited Perth for the first time
  • had my best semester in law school :D
  • got my hair permed… twice!
  • started working full-time hours for the first time and will make the most of my last year as a student!

As for 2012 resolutions, I’ll elaborate on them once I’ve worked out what I’m resolving to do haha!

For now, this sounds pretty good:

Happy New Year’s Eve, blogosphere! See you next year ;). The best is yet to come!

♥ Ames

THL 3: Jelly Bean Love

10. Deactivating FB – curbing procrastination

This was probably the best thing I did for myself during SWOTVAC.  Some people know how to control their use… I’m still struggling learning so let’s just say that procrastination magnifies the addiction.  It’s so easy to live vicariously through other people’s updates that you lose perspective on what’s happening RIGHT NOW in your own life… but of course that just meant I rediscovered Twitter and Tumblr lols I also changed my blog subscriptions settings so that I wouldn’t be getting real-time updates of when people posted however, that wasn’t enough to keep me away from browsing blogs-a-plenty ^^’.  Oh well.

11. Study group sessions: 2,3, 4 heads are always better than one!

I’m so thankful to have people I can nut out hypos and essay topics with :).  I remember it being said once that Law is one of those subjects that cannot or should not be studied in isolation. Word.

12. Submitting my final essay for 2011!

It a bittersweet feeling as it also officially ends my work for PILCH, an amazing not-for-profit organisation that I’ve been interning with since the start of the year.  It’s been such a privilege to work with people who are committed to helping the less fortunate and making a real difference in our community.  They also saved me from the disillusionment I got from law school halfway through last year but that’s a story for another time.

13. Finishing my first of three exams – The end is in sight!

PtL!  I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders… two more til freedom!

14. Living at home – all pros in my mind

  • no rent or bills to pay
  • home-cooked meals that you don’t always cook yourself
  • more hands to help with pegging up clothes to dry
  • awesome company everyday of the year

Yep, sorry Mum and Dad.  I won’t be leaving for a while! (not that you’d let me LOL)

15. SurviveLaw.com/blog – where have you been all my law school life??  

It’s always comforting to know you aren’t the only one walking this challenging road.  And to laugh at the all-too-familiar situations law students find themselves in…

16. Jelly Bean Love:

See behind the scenes here.

♥ Ames

notice of sabbatical

Hello little blog (and anyone who reads you)!

I’m finally, definitely, positively, absolutely freeeeeeeeee!  That take-home exam was a drainer but lots happened before, during and after including:

  • running my first 6km session!
  • finding out that I won my first blog competition!!!
  • getting a long overdue email from JV :D
  • celebrating at Grigon & Orr 
  • getting a haircut (see here)!
  • buying a winter jacket…and a book… and a dress…
  • visiting my cousin’s lil boy who’s in hospital (if you are of the praying kind, prayers would be much appreciated for his speedy recovery from a virus)
I would go into more detail but having done an all-nighter last night, it is time for me to catch up on some sleep before heading off for a much-needed sabbatical in a few hours… have a great week, blogging friends and buddies!  Sorry I haven’t been around these joints or visited your blog homes for a while… I’ll make it up to y’all soon!
TTFN.
♥ Ames

Google it!

Google.

enPR: go͞o’gəl

Noun: An internet search, such as that which is performed on the Google search engine.

  • third-person singular simple present: googles 
  • present participle: googling 
  • simple past and past participle: googled

– Wikitionary

Have you ever tried googling your name and seeing what comes up? I remember listening to one of the many lunchtime seminars that we had about upcoming clerkships/interview preparations and the rep said that googling your name will be one of the first things that future employers do when they receive your application… that’s an uncomfortable thought.  All scary-stalkerish ideas aside, it is interesting to see what kind of online footprint you’ve been leaving all over the interwebs.

The first 7 hits to my name were: Continue reading “Google it!”

teaching blood

I can officially say, 1 down and 2 more to go now :D.

I learnt a number of valuable lessons yesterday after only 3 hours of sleep (or maybe because of only 3 hours of sleep):

  1. 1L Milk costs $2.60 at the local milk bar
  2. A bit of preparation really does make all the difference when it comes to teaching (I know – revelation of the century right?)
  3. How to stay calm in high pressure situations
  4. Always leave a Yellow Pages in your garage
  5. Never leave the house without your phone or driver’s license
  6. Somehow my parents always seem to end up being right (it’s a reality I can’t deny anymore!)
  7. It costs $125 to….