Fancy Hanks: love me some pulled pork

*blowing off the cobwebs*

*dusting off the shelves*

HELLO…

Hello…

hello…

Does anyone still following this blog???

Not surprised if this blog is but a distant memory in the blogosphere… despite my best attempts, 2014 wasn’t much of a blogging year.  I did try to restart it with monthly updates on the other space, but even that trailed off towards the end of the year.  The latest update can be found here.

I’m feeling a bit rusty with blogging and it feels a bit awkward (hopefully it doesn’t come across too much like that) but I think rather than overanalyse it, I’d better just start exercising the blogging muscles and give it a go…

Without going into a huge overshare about what’s been happening the last year, I’d like to share about a recent double date with one of our favourite couples, GR.

IMG_6361On our first double date we were keen to try out Fancy Hanks up near QVM, however, when we got there, they were closed for food orders so we vowed to return to try the American style food offerings.

So one sunny Sunday afternoon, we finally made it!

IMG_6349 IMG_6350Now a tip for newcomers, order before you sit down for a chat.  The wait time for ordering was about 30 minutes even though we had arrived at 6:00pm.  I guess with only one person at the register, things can only go so fast!

IMG_6354IMG_6355 By the time we got to the counter they had already sold out of the beef short ribs and the quarter beer can chook *sadface*… so we collectively ordered the rest of the meat on the menu and a serve of each of the salads PLUS a side of burnt end beans and a hush puppie (not the shoes!) *happydance*!

IMG_6356My favourite was definitely the pulled pork – very tender.  I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed the beef sausage!  The others thought the brisket was the real winner – looked like Chinese char siew to me hehe! Ribs were very tasty as well.  I’m usually not a fan of coleslaw but this one was very refreshing with the addition of pomegranate.  The burnt end beans side was also a highlight – it’s not just beans ;).

close up...
close up…

The atmosphere of the place is great as well with some live music at the start of the night – though a bit loud if you are going there to chat.  They also have a separate bar section as well with plenty of drinks available to go down with all that meat!

Overall, pointers to take away:

  1. Get in early and order first before finding a seat.
  2. Do order: brisket, pulled pork, salads and burnt end beans.
  3. Don’t sit too close to the music if you want to talk (that’s a no-brainer really lol).
  4. Go in a group so you can try more of the different meats :D.
  5. Have fun!

Fancy Hank's BBQ Joint on Urbanspoon

Thanks GR for a great catch up :). #doubledate no. 3??

Oh and E for the recommend hehe.

IMG_6357OK how did I do for the first foodie post after over nearly a year?? :P Not so fussed at the moment with formatting and photo sizing at the moment, just want to get back into it really.

Feel free to leave your comments below – happy for feedback.

‘Til next time.

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changes

How does one begin a blog post after such a long absence?  Just do it, I guess haha

What started out as just an idea, grew into a plan and soon enough a blog-free January seemed like the right thing to do.  I was starting my new job and I just wanted to rest up as much as possible before I lost my extended holidays for good.  However, if I was being real and honest to myself and to you as readers, one of the main reasons for my extended blog break was I just didn’t enjoy it very much anymore.

Perhaps it was my perfectionist tendencies to labour over each photo and edit and re-edit posts.

Perhaps I cared too much about what people thought of me when they read my blog.

Perhaps it was just the end of a massive year and I just needed time to recharge.

Perhaps it could have been a lot of other things but I recognised that blogging had started to become more of a chore for me and as selfish as it sounds, I wasn’t writing for myself anymore.  If we drill down a bit further, I was letting my blog consume and define me and it wasn’t healthy.

So blogging was left to the side and real life continued.  Adjusting to full-time work has probably been the biggest challenge lately but I am truly blessed to be working with such a great team of people who have been really supportive and helping me settle in.  Yesterday marked my first month with the firm and I can see that I am starting to feel more at home now :).

Working day in, day out has also made me realise that I need to make time to do things for myself.  Catching up with friends over lunch and dinners has been great but being an introvert, it does take a fair bit out of me and with ministry taking up most of the weekend, there’s not much left in the reserves after working from 9am-5:30pm, 5 days a week.

So I guess this is where blogging has its place.  I do miss writing and it’s something that I want to start doing again but with the right motivations.  It does mean that my writing style and frequency may change; change isn’t always a bad thing :).  CNY and eating out in the city in between and after work has also added fuel to the fire so to speak ;). Hope you’ll continue on this journey with me – if not, I wish you well and will keep writing about the things that motivate, excite and inspire me.

pinksky

♥ 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 for reals… no joke!

Happy April Fools!  

Funny how I would choose today to make my blog comeback (funny – see what I did there?!)… hehe obviously, my jokes have not improved in my absence from this blog :P

So much has happened in the space of a month – well 37 days to be exact, but who’s been counting right? – that it’s hard to know where to start.  I began my final year of uni, went up to Sydney for a spell (Bourke St Bakery ♥), decided to grow my hair out again (that was a big blog-worthy decision!), English tutored for the first/last time (story for another day/blog), helped launched a new service at my church, took advantage of a MFW Express Lunch for the first time(!), started my 2nd Project365 challenge (woot!), met up with my coffee-lovin’ blog buddie again plus put my virtual hand up to write some foodie reviews for the “wikileaks of law school”!

Day 1: The day I wore my new necklace created by an amazingly talented Melbourne artist – click on the photo to visit her website.

It has taken every ounce of self-control (ok, maybe that is a bit melodramatic!) to keep myself from sneaking back on during the self-imposed blog fast for Lent however, in retrospect, the month away did give me some time to think (amongst other things) about why I blog, who I’m writing for and where this blog is headed.

*cue contemplative, reflective music*

First, I blog because I enjoy it.  Read this for a refresher.  I enjoy stringing words together to paint a picture of the experiences I’ve had and I enjoy sharing those experiences with others. As Rudyard Kipling said, ‘I am by nature a dealer in words, and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity.’ However, I have to remember that I’m still a full-time law student and not a full-time blogger – have to get those priorities straight!

Day 3. The day we finally made it to Bourke St Bakery, Sydney! Loved every bite of it ;-)

The second piece of revelation relates to the first: Above all else, I’m writing for myself.  While being off the blog (sounds like a drug, doesn’t it? lol), I’ve had more of a chance to (re)discover lots of blogs and bloggers whom I admire and deeply respect.  There are sooooo many amazing blogs out there and sometimes I’ve felt like I should do more of this or that, I should try to keep more on top of the trends (read: be more active on Twitter) etc.  I’m going to be a bit vulnerable here and say that in the past, I’ve caught myself trying to imitate other people’s writing styles/formats, hoping to generate the kind of readership that they have no doubt built up over years of blogging.  This type of approach is never beneficial; I can never be a better version of someone else.  All I can be is the best ‘me’ that there is.  From now on, no more trying to be more witty, knowledgeable, savvy, creative, well-versed than who I really am.  My voice doesn’t need to be like anyone else’s or else it would just be redundant.  Selah.

Day 7: My first meal in Melbourne after Sydney – Persimmon (yum!).

The last point that I’d like to make (this is like essay practice for the 8,000 word paper I have coming up, eeekk!) is where this blog is headed.  This blog is almost 1 year old (so quick!) and I think after 11 months, I can see a clear pattern of food and photography (plus some miscellaneous moments thrown in the mix) being the focus of this writing space.  So that’s the kind of blog that it’ll continue to be :).

*end contemplative and reflective music*

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, hope you’ll stick around for some delectable blog posts to come ;).  Still haven’t written a word about the tastes of QLD so we’ll mix it up with some Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne flavours, shall we?

For now, I leave you with my favourite Project365 photo so far:

Day 14. Part of Blue Week – Delicious Violet and Blueberry Macaron from an old friend ;).

And we’ve back in business… for reals :).  Hoping my blogging muscles aren’t too rusty!

♥ Ames

P.S. I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of the Photo a day April challenge by Fat Mum Slim so you can check out my progress in this album :).

A few big announcements!

No, I’m not getting married! Lol, I remember when J used to sit us down for a chat and we’d always jokingly ask her if that was the case (until one day, she actually did make that announcement!)…

Well, first off – I’ve finished the 30 day guitar challenge!  I was pretty good for the first 20 days but once I got through the beginners guitar book my friend Ada lent me,  I found it harder to know what to practice.  I ended up trying to perfect the C- Am-F-G progression which I’m still working on… I’m not quick enough with my transition between the chords yet but I’m not gonna stop just yet ;).  There’s definitely a newfound appreciation of guitarists and string instrument players in general!

Secondly, I want to thank Soph for the Liebster Blog Award!  The Liebster Blog Award is for blogs with less than 200 followers, allowing for lesser known blogs to be appreciated and recognised.  [I must just quickly interject here to say that my blog follower count on the right —> is a bit deceptive… somehow, since these blog posts are automatically publicized on my Facebook page, WordPress includes the number of ‘friends’ I have from there as well… in reality, I have 26 WordPress blog followers and 3 E-mail blog followers = 29 followers though not including those through RSS feed… so much less than 200!]

I met Soph in real life through a friend of a friend back in 2009 (that’s when we think it was) and I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with her via Twitter and other social media mediums since then until we met again in real life before her trip overseas.  I love the way she writes as well and always appreciates it when she visits so go over there and give her some blog lovin’.

The Libester Blog Award Rules:
1. Thank the Liebster who awarded me.
2. Link back to their blog.
3. Copy and paste award on my blog
4. Reveal my top 5 Liebster blogs
5. Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog.
 I would like to pass this award to (in no particular order)
  1. 6ixx – choir buddy since primary school; she’s the one who inspired me to start a blog way back in 2008
  2. Mama Bea’s – best baker her age that I know; I know who is creating my wedding cake one day ;)
  3. Vintage Pearl – another real-life-friend-turned-blogger; love Hannah’s quirky style and love for all things vintage!
  4. Imani – Rosie’s a new blogger too and her blog posts always challenge me to look deeper than the surface
  5. Lydia {takes pictures} – always inspires me to get out there and make better use of my DSLR :)

It was difficult choosing just five so I wanted to also give Honourable Mentions to bloggers who already have an established fan base but that I HEART as well :)

I better stop there as I could go on and on about the amazing people I’ve ‘met’ through blogging, it’s been a pleasure :).

Now moving on to the really big announcement!

If you have been following this blog, you would have known that I began a Daniel fast last month which meant fasting from meat, bread and sugar.  There was a lot of time for personal reflection (and new cooking experiments!) and one of the things that came out of it was this new foodie idea/project/initiative…

Click through to find out what it is all about and I hope you can join in too.

And one final announcement, whilst on the fast, I also gave thought to taking a new direction with my old blog.  I’ve decided to open it up to a wider audience now (though not yet confident enough to post them directly to Facebook) so you’ll find the button on the right sidebar and I’ll give updates here every once and a while :).  I hope to have special posts on Fridays to feature a book, song, quote or anything else that has inspired me but this Friday (tomorrow) I’ll be develing deeper into the idea behind the ‘Eat Out: Help Out’ project and how it’s going to work.

OK, I better hit the sack with an optimistic plan to go to the gym before the last day of work tomorrow :D.

♥ Ames

10 days in…

It really is quite extraordinary what can be accomplished when you set your mind to it!

As previously mentioned, I’ve been attempting to re-learn the guitar for at least the last 10 years and in the last 10 days I’ve learnt: 9 chords, 2 scales and 4 songs that I can somewhat comfortably pick away at (Silent Night, Morning Has Broken, Amazing Grace, Waltzing Matilda)! Pretty happy with the progress though I’m developing calluses on my fingers (as should have been expected). It’s funny how I’ve been so precious about my fingers all my piano-playing life and now I’m purposely causing them pain… oh well, ‘no pain, no gain’ right?

Alongside this little challenge, I’ve been diligently eating only fruit and vege (though I ate two pieces of bread out of desperation since there was next to nothing without bread at one of those catered lunches!), I’ve been coffee-free, tried out lots of new recipes, got my gym program all set and going, started a new job, gone to Boot Camp once in the Flagstaff Gardens (so great to workout outdoors and run around the greenery!), watched Hugo (mmm, wasn’t the greatest), had a water balloon fight with my bro plus done a massive overhaul of my wardrobe, bookshelf and room in general. 2012 hasn’t started off that bad after all ;).

One lesson I’ve learnt is that less is more. I think it’s very easy to fall into the habit of accumulating more things, wanting the latest gadget or fashion. However, at the end of the day, it’s all just ‘stuff’. And stuff takes up a lot of room – my bedroom can vouch for that lol. I’m not against acquiring new items (I just invested in some new makeup thanks to Mookxi‘s suggestions) but I think it has to be balanced with giving away of either things we don’t use anymore or things that we can bless others with. In particular, cleaning out my room has made me evaluate: exactly how much of my resources and time do I spend on myself and those I care about compared with how much I spend on people who could never pay me back in return…?

Food for thought.

Lol, sorry this went in a more philosophical direction than I intended. This was really just an update on my progress and a note to say that I MISS YOUR FACES – such a Lor thing to say ;). I miss blogging – I guess you never realise how much something has become a part of your life until it is gone. So I figured, that since I have been a good girl with the guitar playing I don’t really need to bane myself from the blog… right??? I don’t think I’ll be doing proper reviews until after this 30 day challenge is complete but I may drop by everyone once in a while ;).

Hope your 2012 has been just as amazing!

♥ Ames

Winter Rebel and the hidden meaning of Ames

Hey August, nice to see you again!  It’s been a while hasn’t it? :D  I don’t remember you ever being this warm… especially not within the first few days!  

With the warmest start to August we’ve had in a long long time in Melb (I’ll try not to think too much of how this is probably all due to global warming), I couldn’t help but feel a tad rebellious (which probably betrays my upbringing haha) when I started the week by walking out the door in sandals, a tee and a skirt sans tights (scandalous, right?):

sunshine-deprived feet waiting at the bus stop

Sun, sun, sun, sun, sun – oh, how I love you! *happy sigh* And if I could walk around in sandals each and everyday I would be so content :).

Things are bubbling away and there’s so much I wish I had time to write about but there is one thing that I have to acknowledge: the hidden meaning of Ames.  Not this Ames though, but Ames over at My Infernal Journal.  She’s full of  ‘AwesoMenEsS‘ because not only is she ridiculously creative with her words and story-telling, she’s a beautiful person inside and out AND she gives away awesome prizes!! Remember how I won my first ever blog competition?  A package was waiting for me at the door this week… I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out it was all the way from the US and opened it… *drum roll* Continue reading “Winter Rebel and the hidden meaning of Ames”

Flashback: Word Quota

Cousin came to visit.  First proper conversation I’ve had all week.  Hence, no impulse to blog… BUT I thought I should take this time to flag a disclaimer for future blogging endeavours (taken from my old blog):

April 20, 2011
I’ve realised that my blogging habits are definitely quite sporadic-I really like the look and sound of that word (‘sp -r d k’)- and most likely emotion driven… there are days when I feel I should blog (Why? For what reasons? I don’t know…) but when I open a new post, no words come out… and then there are days when I really shouldn’t blog (especially on days like today where I’ve already blogged once already) but there’s almost an urgency that if I don’t write it down somewhere the thoughts will just evaporate and I won’t remember them…

Actually I think I remember hearing somewhere that, in general, women have a quota of 50,000 words to use up per day (whereas men only have about 25,000 words) so maybe it is only on those days that I haven’t quite used up my full quota that I blog and when I have spoken my fill, that’s when I’m left wordless, poised in front of the laptop screen.  I think I have a few thousand words left in me but I’m likely to use them in a few moments when we go and wander over to a Careers Fair so I’ll leave it for now lols.

Thank you for indirectly participating in this bit of self-analysis.

♥ Ames