Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Byron Bay: a dog lover's guide

If your life is as exciting as mine and revolves around your dog, you might be intersted in how dog friendly Byron Bay is. Buzzfeed recently read my mind about how I feel about Marcel, and they were dead right when they said dogs need R&R too. Marcel obviously leads a pretty stressful life. 
But seriously, it's so normal to me to take a dog on holiday, when they are a part of your family and you miss them enough not to go overseas for them, you want to make sure your trip with this is awesome.

Byron is definitely less dog friendly than it used to be, even since last year, and things have definitely changed since the first time I went there, oh, a thousand years ago. Gone are the days of dogs laying on the floor of the Rails in the dirt while their owners drank schooners and ate some of the best hot chips with aoili in the universe (me, the day I got engaged). The Beach Hotel is also now fully fenced and dogs aren't allowed inside the beer garden. They do hav ea doggie tie up station outside, but AS IF I would let Marcel out of my sight like that.

There are stacks of cafes with dog friendly outdoor seating. I felt like a sad enormous tourist the first morning we went to the Roadhouse and I asked if it was OK for Marcel to sit with us, and within 30 seconds 302345 local dogs turned up and sat there :///. Most of the cafes in town are puppy friendly outdoors and most adored Marcel, giving him lots of treats and water bowls. 

I found it super easy to find nice accomodation that's pet friendly through Stayz. We stayed in an awesome little place with a little courtyard, a two minunte walk to Johnson St. Lois the owner is super lovely, and when she came into town she met Marcel and loved him too.
We also stayed this time in a studio with a courtyard in Suffolk Park, and Fran the owner there was just as accomodating and lovely.

Byron has two huge dog friendly off leash beaches. Marcel was in holiday mode so much that we actually let him off leash most mornings in Suffolk Park on Tallows beach. Unheard of for our little pshychopath. Belongil beach is also off leash, but he outdid himself in town all the mornings we were there that we never needed to take him there this time around. 

I miss Byron. So does Marcel. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Byron Bay: the eating

Of course the first thing I post about my Byron holiday is food. Prepare your eyes and your tummies to enter jelly overload. Mine did writing this post and I was there. Sob. 

Although every second person seems to think I went to Byron to smoke the marijuana for three weeks (seriously), probably the number on activity we partook in was eating. The food in Byron get better every time I'm there, and that's coming off a high base. For a mostly vego who likes to be healthy but reeeeeallly likes hot chips, Byron is the eating destination of choice, bro. 
Add in markets, road trips and the Sample Food Festival in Bangalow and by golly gosh it was a great few weeks. 

Let's take a trip down gastronomical lane. Soz if you've seen my food spam on instagram (not really). 
Stop number one: breakfast at Top Shop. This place is still the bomb, but it has a lot of breakfast and lunch competition with some new players
 A raw plate from Naked Treaties. This was a non hot-chip day, obvs.

Capsicum quinoa salad at The Balcony. I'd had a not great experience here years ago, but Mr C wanted to give it a go and I'm glad we did
A ridiculously good breakfast plate from the Sicilian stall at the Byron Farmers Markets. These guys do all the markets in the area and are a must eat
Obligatory green juice at the Byron Farmers Markets. Health, glowing, etc.
Breakfast sushi roll at Mullumbimby Farmers Markets. This would be my pick of the food markets in the area, purely for the amount of different stuff I hadn't seen anywhere else. Eg- breakfast sushi! I got a serious supply of hemp seeds from here. 
I don't remember exactly what this was, I'd had about 67 happy hour cocktails. But it was Mexican and delicious from Miss Margarita. Because I don't eat enough Mexican at home.  

The Sample Food Festival was everything I wanted and more. I had anxiety from trying to work out what to eat. All the big restaurants and food outlets had stalls, and we were narrowing down where we could possibly eat in our three weeks. Stress!!!!

Potato breakfast goodness at The Dip. Even for bottomless pit me, this was too big. 

My new favourite (sorry Top Shop) was The Roadhouse. Awesome atmosphere, excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner (we did each, several times) and puppy friendly.  

I could go on and on and on and on about food up there but I am already depressed enough so the end. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


It could be the predicted hot wind and 39 degrees in Sydney today but god I am restless. Cannot sit still at work, concentration is shot. 
It probably isn’t though, this feeling has been building for some weeks now. at first I thought it was just post- holiday blues, but weeks back now and it’s not getting any better. Three weeks in Byron Bay, coupled with finally hitting my 10 year anniversary at work has done nothing for my motivation levels.

We’ve thought about buying a new place, moving somewhere new, but where to? I love where I live, am spoilt with a beautiful location and a home I adore, so it would take a lot to improve on that. I go through phases, whims where I think Darlinghurst is the place, then Potts Point is it. They fade pretty quickly, these whims.

Travel would be awesome, my feet are getting itchy. All that’s stopping me is Marcel. People laugh and roll their eyes, but I genuinely cannot imagine leaving him. No matter where or who with we leave him, that’s not the issue. I miss him when I’m at work, I don’t think I’d be enjoying myself too much in say South America if I was pining for my dog. Judge away, I probably deserve it.

My heart is not in it at work. At all. Everything seems too hard, people too frustrating to deal with. Again my problem (if that’s what I’d call it) is that I’m spoilt. I’m paid pretty well, have a work car, don’t work long hours, can work from home when I can, don’t have a boss in the same state to have any idea what I’m doing. So despite my heart being nowhere near in it, my motivation to do anything about it is lacking. And what to do? Where to go? What do I want to do? Something nagging in the back of my mind asks about the possibility of becoming pregnant, and what that would be like if I was somewhere new. Strange as I have no intention of doing that. Virgo brain in mega overdrive?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beauty: September empties

Very little to report here. Being away for 3 weeks in September, and my psycho need to take new stuff with me on holidays, meant I didn't finish much this month. 

L'Oreal Magique BB Cream
I usually avoid L'Oreal products at all costs with their naughty animal testing. This was given to me a while ago and I just got around to trying it. Waste not, want not. I used it on holidays and I used the whole tube while away- not very long lasting. 
The formula is really weird, going on a pale purple and 'adjusting' to your skin. There are much better, non evil BB creams out there. Wouldn't buy again. 

Napoleon Set Brightening Primer
I have no idea if the 'brightening' part works or not, I certainly didn't notice it. For a non prestige brand primer, I'd stick with FOA primer and not spend the extra $10 or so on this. 
Nivea Refreshing Facial Wash Gel
This was ok. Nothing special. Scent is very refreshing but just like any other face wash. 
That's it! Hopefully I'll have gotten through more of my stash in October. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recently 2.10.2013

I'm baaaack. Did you miss me? Don't fib. I can't blame holiday for my entire absence, I've been back from Byron for a few weeks, but since my place looks like a bomb/ building site, blogging has not exactly been top of mind. 

I'll do some Byron posts soon (you'll have to suffer through them, I could talk about beaches and whales and coffees and beers forever) but suffice to say we had an awesome time. As did Marcel. We went away because we were getting our floors and outdoor tiles done, and sadly (ha!) our builder called while we were away and said they'd be a few more days, so we extended the trip a bit. Horrific!
The renos are nearly done, it seriously barely looks like we've touched the place, but nice to know our issues are fixed and our floorboards look awesome. Mr C has some painting to do inside and out, but is waiting on his mate to install our new air con. That wasn't part of the plan, but when they took the old one out to do the tiling, the bottom completely fell out of it from rust. Joys of living close to the beach!
So now we have a nice shiny new unit, that's tiny compared to the old one. I just heard 'something something kilowatts' and 'something something inverter'. All I know is it looks good. Well, in the box on the lounge room floor anyway...
The builders were there for a few days before we went away. We left a note asking them to put Marcel in the spare room to get him out of the way. Our builders were awesome, but apparently they didn't follow instructions...

In the world's most exciting news, I bought a new blender! Specifically the Biochef. I ummed and ahhed about a Vitamix, and for me a decision like this is ma-jah and I get so indecisive. When we were in Byron we went to the showroom that sells these babies and I was so impressed. Heaps sturdier than a Vitamix, really simple to use and at $399 it was half the price. Sold! They wee out of stock and I was so antsy to have it delivered. My whole office knew what was going on by the time the box turned up. 
So far I've made many, many green smoothies, hummus, dips, salad dressings and I've only had it a week!

Parkway Drive
Their 10 year anniversary tour got me through my first week at work! They played the Roundhouse, which is not my favourite venue, and it was PACKED and so hot but my god I love them. I thought the crowd would be a bit crazier, full of die hard fans as it was a special tour, but it was pretty tame. Good for old lady me. We were most definitely, 100% the oldest females there!
I do love seeing people's reactions when I tell them if I go and see them. Hilare!
Elle magazine
Given I'm guilty of not buying many mags any more, I can't complain about the state of the print market. Yet I'm so glad Elle has launched in Oz. I love Justine Cullen and was thrilled when she was announced as editor. It's taken me ages to get through (a good thing) and all the mags I bought on holidays/ got delivered while I was away have been untouched. 
Marcel was not that impressed with Ninja the French Bulldog appearing in the accessories shoot though...

Got my hair did. Do you think I'll ever be able to say "got my hair done" like a non-black person again? Probably not. It was soooo overdue. I basically had dreadlocks after 3 weeks of Byron sun and sand. The grey/ mouse blonde regrowth should go unmentioned. 
Here I am on the train on the way to a rooftop BBQ in Potts Point, like an actual young person who goes out at night and socialises. Hashtag bored selfie. 

It was not that bad to be back at work. Obviously being a stay at home mother to Marcel is preferable, but I can't complain too much. Coming back at pay review and bonus time was a win (well, for me, not so much for 'manager' me as it meant a shiteload of admin work and long, long conversations). We also all got a pretty generous gift card for our financial results last year. It is seriously burning a whole in my wallet and I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions?
It was also my (gasp) 10 year anniversary, so I got some more gift card points, and my all-bloke team got me a bottle of Grey Goose. So yep, no complaints from me right now.


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