Little Big Sugar Salt – Melbourne Breakfast Adventure

Little Big Sugar Salt is a quaint cafe, in North Richmond. With ambiguous signage, we wondered along the street and almost walked straight past.

Ordering our coffees, and after not-too-long an almond milk cap and espresso arrived. The almond milk was absolutely delicious, after complimenting the waiter, he told us it was made in house. Almonds, water, salt a date or two, just the way it should be.

lbss7

On entering, a small open kitchen, coffee machine and bench seat gives the deceptive appearance that there isn’t much more to the cafe. The friendly wait staff directed us to find a table, and after turning a corner, we found a hallway leading to an enchanted communal dining area.

lbss6

Art work, adorning the walls.

lbss5

A hipster menu, disguised as a newspaper was delivered. Full of irony and intended puns, we sifted through the findaword, recipes and finally found a succinct menu of ‘sweet’, ‘salt’ and ‘sandwiches’.

lbss4

Regan’s ‘R. Swanson’ dedicated to the Parks and Rec fans: pulled pork, double smoked ham, egg, manchego, pickles, mustard;

my ‘The One’: kim chi, sticky kumara, poached eggs and cashew cream cheese.

All day breakfast, yes please.

lbss3

My kumara really wasn’t very sticky, but I was completely full of good fats, protein and vegan/dairy free/gluten free goodness. They really do cater for all sorts of dietary requirements.

Regan’s breakfast arrived on bread, which wasn’t mentioned on the menu. With a whole newspaper, you’d think they would be able to fit that kind of detail in.

lbss2

The wash room was pinterest worthy. Seriously, go, just to wash your hands.

lbss1

With the size of kitchen/cooking facilities available, we were surprised at the quality of the food that arrived at our (probably reclaimed) wooden table. Retro, contrary, hipster details made this a conversation-stimulating experience. The selection of hot sauces in the wooden condiment box kept Regan occupied for a good few minutes.

lbss

This is a picture of the small, blue sign, proclaiming the location of Little Big Sugar Salt. Or, look for the stunning arch windows… visit: https://lbsscafe.com/ to see their website.

An Interesting little Psychology experiment

A few days ago I took a pair of loafers to the Shoe Man and asked for a quote to re-sole and heel my worse-for-wear shoes. (You see, I would rather re-sole a worn in pair of shoes and get another year or two out of them, than buy a new pair. Especially if I’m in love with the style of shoe, and repairing is far more sustainable than purchasing.)

Anyway, the guy quoted me $50 and next day pick up.

So to social media I went, placing a shout out on a local facebook group asking for recommendations for a cheaper repair. “Ask for Tim” was the response, referring to the same shop I went to originally.

I was heading that way anyway, so I went back, and guess who was at the counter? Tim. The same Tim who quoted me a few days ago.

Not sure how this was going to go, I smiled sweetly, and told him he was highly recommended to me. It seems he didn’t remember our previous interaction; This time, he quoted me $40 and 1 hour pick up- on the same pair of shoes.

I learnt a valuable lesson in a practical setting.
People like to feel important, competent, useful. The small act of acknowledging a person for who they are can make all the difference. Be kind, and they will usually return the favour. And next time, ask for Tim.

Green Refectory Pop Up Cafe

It was a chilly, rainy Melbourne morning and Regan and I decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast out. We drove around, and came across the Green Refectory Pop Up Cafe.

green refectory7

The atmosphere was welcoming and the service was impeccable. The staff were attentive, chatty and made us feel right at home, to say I value good service highly would be an understatement.

green refectory3

A big chalk board had meals and prices on it, gazing upward for a few minutes neither of us could go past the breakfast stack. An impressive stack of poached egg, spinach, bacon, tomato and potato, with tomato relish. Seriously, so good.

green refectory2

I treated myself to an almond milk cappuccino. I always get excited when a cafe offers a dairy alternative other than soy milk. Together, we read the Saturday paper.

green refectoryWe would have sat in the quaint alley way, as we love out doorsy breakfasts, but the rain and cold drew us back inside. Ah, the great indoors.

green refectory6Inside was a charming blend of industrial-glam, with some original fittings and brass accents. The exposed brick was warm and homely, with plants and timber pulling it all together.

green refectory4We had a truly great experience at the Green Refectory Pop Up. The food was delicious, and timely.

Highly recommend.

DG Chiropractic Conference

Ohmygosh! is the only way I can start this post. Regan and I are studying Chiropractic and had the amazing opportunity to attend and help out at the Dynamic Growth Congress Conference.

Dynamic Growth (or DG) is a conference for Chiropractors (students and staff of, as well) with a myriad of amazing speakers from all over the world presenting relevant research and issues promoting the profession.

Leading research from Heidi Haavik and John Minardi took my breath away; and increased my understanding of the amazing things the body is capable of to the next level.

Kim Morrison: a professional health and lifestyle educator with over twenty five years experience in the health, fitness and beauty industries. A world leader and master in her field, she embraces aromatherapy alongside tactile therapies, homeo-botanical therapy, fitness consulting and personal training (Excerpt taken from Up For A Chat's Facebook page)

The weekend was inspiring, and uplifting. Being around people who are all working towards a greater good; bettering the health and wellness of others is truly a great way to kick-start our second year of study.

Brushing shoulders with the greats of the industry left me a little star struck and giggly at times. My favourite in particular, was meeting the girls from Up For A Chat: a podcast with a trio of vitalistic women all international speakers, authors and guru’s in their field, giving their opinions and teasing out details of various topics- get on to them! They were amazing. I didn’t stalk Cyndi O’Meara enough to grab a photo (well, really I didn’t have the guts to ask) but I had a brief chat with her. These 3 are the most lovely women, who I am proud to call my source of inspiration.

Carren Smith: As Australia’s most experienced international mindset speaker coupled with the designations of author, counsellor, host and educator. Carren’s ferocious innovation pushes the boundaries of psychological perspectives and human potential. She holds nothing back by challenging beliefs and inspiring creative intelligence through unique mindset strategies and unlocking limiting lifestyles. (Excerpt taken from Up For A Chat's Facebook page)

I left DG feeling a renewed sense of purpose; for my study, lifestyle, caring for others and for striving towards my goals. It really emphasized the impact of being part of a tribe- a community of support. Whatever you do in life, connect with your tribe; give and take in order to renew and pour yourself into others.

Resources:

Kim Morrison’s website

Kim Morrison: a professional health and lifestyle educator with over twenty five years experience in the health, fitness and beauty industries. A world leader and master in her field, she embraces aromatherapy alongside tactile therapies, homeo-botanical therapy, fitness consulting and personal training (Excerpt taken from Up For A Chat’s Facebook page)

Carren Smith’s website

Carren Smith: As Australia’s most experienced international mindset speaker coupled with the designations of author, counsellor, host and educator. Carren’s ferocious innovation pushes the boundaries of psychological perspectives and human potential. She holds nothing back by challenging beliefs and inspiring creative intelligence through unique mindset strategies and unlocking limiting lifestyles.  (Excerpt taken from Up For A Chat’s Facebook page)

Cyndi O’Meara’s website

With over 30 years in the health and nutrition fields, Cyndi O’Meara is by far one of the world’s foremost authorities when it comes to health, diet, whole foods and getting back to natural habits! As a professional speaker, coach, mentor and researcher Cyndi has discovered a phenomenal and groundbreaking message which links food to Quantum Physics and the longevity of human existence. (Excerpt taken from Up For A Chat’s Facebook page)

A Past Adventure: Jean Paul Gaultier

A few weeks ago now, I met up with my gorgeous cousin Edwina and we visited the National Gallery of Victoria for an exhibition of fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier’s work.

There was no warning or advice about not taking photos. So, if you missed out- enjoy the few small moments that I captured.

It was amazing.

jpg3

The exhibition included inspiration pieces, garments, paintings, photographs and various art pieces that reflected the man Jean Paul Gaultier became.

jpg9

 

Ordered thematically, there were dresses worn by celebrities (Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, Dita Von Teese to name a few).

jpg10

Entire rooms were dedicated to each theme he his designs have represented. From boudoir, to movie costumes, anatomically printed garments, Brittish Punk Rock, cone shell boobs, corsets…

jpg11

The further I explored the exhibition, the deeper I felt involved and attached to his work. He demonstrates attention to such fine details and his designs always embody socio-political symbolism that (in retrospect) are streets ahead.

jpg8

Bold, emotional, textured, detailed and lavish are a few words I would use to describe the experience of the exhibition.

jpg7

This was the final piece at the exhibition. A metallic framework, deceptively made of leather.

jpg6

An Adventure: Raw Trader and Niew Amsterdam

Regan and I have had a big and busy few months. We decided it was time to visit the city and spoil ourselves a little, the best way we know how: food!

We did dessert before dinner. Because, why not!

niew amsterdam6

We popped in to Raw Trader for some organic and raw, sweet treats.

Regan had the cappuccino cheesecake, while I had the peach and passionfruit slice. Both were amazing in texture and flavour, but I have to say once I tasted Regan’s- I proposed a swap. He declined.

On to dinner!

There is a little bar/restaurant tucked away in a little laneway in Melbourne. Hardware Lane to be exact.

It has a dark exterior and a doormat out the front. Naturally, Regan and I wandered in. Downstairs is a dark bar, with booths and candles providing dim, flickering ambience. Upstairs, the restaurant component is light with big arch windows and tables in every nook.

niew amsterdam5
Upstairs resaurant- Niew Amsterdam

 

To start, we splurged on the scallops. BEST DECISION! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing this dish was. Scallops, mango gazpacho, avo and chillies. Wow.

niew amsterdam4

 

Regan ordered Beef Brisket with Kimchi, and I the Pork Belly with Sauerkraut. Both meals were tender, juicy and best of all- delicious! We sat swapping plates every few minutes because both of them were just that good.

Beef Brisket
Beef Brisket and kimchi veges
niew amsterdam3
Pork Belly with crackling and Sauerkraut

We ordered a side of greens with seaweed salt, and a naughty serve of wedges. Regan indulged in some craft beers from the bar, and I had a delicious cocktail.

niew amsterdam

 

Niew Amsterdam was a little more on the expensive side of where we normally choose to dine. The service was amazing, with friendly, attentive staff; and the quality of the food was beyond what we expected.

Niew Amsterdam, we will be back. Thank you for an amazing dining experience!

 

An Adventure: St Kilda Festival

Yesterday, Regan, Alister and myself made our way into the St Kilda Festival.

st kilda fest

By the time we got in there, it was 3pm and the crowd seemed to still be growing by the minute. The day started out overcast and cloudy, but by about 4pm the sun was beating down (Regan got a bit sunburnt).

st kilda fest1

Thanks to daylight savings, the sun didn’t set until about 8.30pm and a sea breeze rolled in, cooling everything right down.

st kilda fest3

The festival was alive and loud. The main stage was right on the beach, with a sandy floor and a first class sea view. Salsa music played at another stage, where dancers all formed partnerships and jived the day away. Buskers and vendors of all sorts lined the cordoned off streets, offering a feast for the senses.

There were rides, clothing stalls, leather goods, sunglasses stalls, fake tattoos, yoga, zumba, music, and best of all… food.

st kilda fest2
Food stalls ranged from ‘Vegelicious’ vegetarian, to a Sicilian BBQ for the carnivores, organic icecream, fish and chips, Greek food, cups of roasted corn, the list goes on.

st kilda fest4

The St Kilda festival is a free event.

– No entry fee- just wander on in

– Alcohol free, with lots of families and people of all ages having a great time

– Free Chia Pods were being handed out, and so we ate banana and chia for lunch.

st kilda fest5

The last act on the main stage was Hot Dub Time Machine, a DJ who plays music in chronological order from the 1950’s to the current day. Everyone was dancing in the streets and having a great time to the old classics through to the modern hits.

It was such an amazing day, definitely an experience to look forward to again next year.

Adventure to Hanging Rock sans The Picnic

Yesterday, my mum, Regan and I went for a little drive out of the city. We went through some small country towns and came across the mysterious Hanging Rock.

hanging rock9

It was a bit of a hike, and entry was $10 which I thought was a lot of effort to go to, to see a rock.

hanging rock6

The site is historically significant to Australia and there is a timeline at the information center of the events and visitors the Rock has had over the years.

Most famously was the mystery of the school girls that went missing while on an excursion there. The circumstances surrounding their disappearances have long been of interest to the public there’s lots of theories surrounding the event, you can read some here.

hanging rock5

hanging rock4

Up the top was a look out, which wasn’t much good due to low cloud cover.

hanging rock2

The scenery was gorgeous. Sometimes I forget about the raw beauty of the Australian bush.

hanging rock8

hanging rock10

 

We didn’t take a picnic. The walk was lovely, but we had to make our way back quickly as the promise of rain wasn’t far away.hanging rock3

It was an overcast day, and as we started our descent, the rain came softly down.

hanging rock7

It was a great day, I’m so glad we got to spend some time with my mum.

 

An Adventure: Code Black

There is a small, ambiguous building in Brunswick. The shop front is dark, pertaining to its namesake- Code Black.

Intrigued, Regan and I entered to find a world of caffeinated heaven. A cafe, coffee roaster and ultimate hipster hangout: Codeblack is impressive. With a breakfast and lunch menu to suit a variety of tastes and dietary requirements, Codeblack specializes in the humble toastie. Gluten free was an option, and I was so excited.

codeblack

 

 

The walls were black. The menu was black and white. It included single origin and house blend coffees, with a focus on brunch type meals and some rustic platters for good measure.
codeblack2

 

codeblack5

Honestly, it was fabulous. Regan had a Pastrami toastie with pickles, a house made dipping sauce and leafy greens.

codeblack4

I had a gluten free chicken and bacon toastie, which was amazing. My only complaint was that it wasn’t cut in half… which made it more difficult to eat.

codeblack3

The coffee was the first I had in a looong time, and it was delicious.

No complaints here, Code Black- we will be back.