My First Blog!

Hey, guys. Thanks for stopping my blog!

I’m back from a lovely (albeit rainy) few days in Auckland, rested from the weekend, and feeling a bit more inspired to write posts. That’s always good, right? Although I didn’t take any photos in NZ due to the packed conference schedule, I do have some photos to share from this weekend as well as last, since I didn’t manage to get any up last week. And yes, there is a lot of flora involved.Two weekends Luke and I trekked into the city to visit Prahran Market and stroll down Chapel Street. I might be stating an obvious fact to those who know Chapel St, but San Churro Chocolateria has officially the best hot chocolate ever. I got a dark chocolate ho-cho (to use my sister’s term for her favourite drink) with a peanut butter melt, which is a spoon dipped in PB and then coated in milk chocolate. Dunking that into my drink and slowly eating the peanut butter off was so indulgent, but for a pb + chocolate lover like me, it was totally warranted. And not even the only indulgence of the stop, because Luke and I shared a raspberry chocolate bomb between us as well. If you’re in Melbourne and haven’t been to San Churro before, get thee to Chapel St ASAP!One of my favourite things about markets is finding really beautiful and affordable flower bouquets to put out around my house.

Ever since we moved into our condo, I’ve kept a steady stream of fresh flowers all over the place. Back when I lived in my basement apartment in Vancouver, it was pretty difficult to make my home feel bright and lively, but now that I live in a place with such beautiful natural light, I can’t stop turning it into a terrarium. I decided this weekend to go out and buy some plants to report and keep around the house, which is a little bit better on the budget than buying new bouquets all the time (although I do usually buy very moderately priced flowers anyway), and fun to take care of. I bought a shrimp plant and a lavender fern, which I’m hoping will give the place a great smell as well as being really pretty. I’m still working on decorating our place, waiting for the right pieces to jump out at me rather than buying in bulk and wasting money, so in the meantime the potted plants add a home-y feeling to the place. Do you guys have potted plants at home? I just can’t bring myself to buy fake plants, but maybe one day when my schedule gets too hectic and I forget to water all the time, I might have to resort to that. For now, I love knowing that everything is alive and thriving in my home.I found an American/Canadian food shop in Prahran that stocks Clamato juice (mmm ceasars…), Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and canned pumpkin. You may not think canned pumpkin is that exciting, but I make my vegan mac ‘n cheese quite regularly, and roasting squash every time is time consuming and creates a lot of dirty dishes. Canned pumpkin doesn’t exist over here because nobody eats pumpkin pie. Like, nobody’s really even tasted it before. I know – insane. But Australia doesn’t have Thanksgiving, nor do they feast at Christmastime like we do back home, so in a way it makes sense. But seriously, you Aussies are missing out, because pumpkin pie is my faaaaavourite.

I’m considering buying that shop out of their entire stock just to spread the pumpkin pie experience around. Have any of you Aussies reading actually had pumpkin pie? Thoughts?I was granted my work visa last week, so I’m beyond happy this week that I have four more years in this lovely country. Hooray for getting immigration all sorted! And since I have my visa, I’m officially a permanent employee at my company. This prompted Luke and I to sit down on Sunday to create a budget for all of our expenses, which will give us a good idea of how much to save each month. We’re planning to go to Canada this year for Christmas, and are saving up for various other trips and investment opportunities, so sitting down and seeing it all laid out in excel was really great. I love budgeting, and I love saving my money – it’s so rewarding to feel financially responsible and independent. Is anybody else a budgeter? I have been pretty much my whole life, and I think it’s possibly one of the best life skills one could have. Agree?

Lastly, I haven’t said much about my conference, but that’s because I don’t even know where to begin. I’m going to dedicate a post to it for Thursday this week though, so be sure to check back then if you’re interested on more work-life. It was an amazing experience, and I feel so lucky to work at a company that gives that kind of opportunity to junior engineers. Phew, what a long recap of my week(s), huh? Happy Tuesday everyone, hope you’ve all had a fabulous week these past few days!