Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 237: Naked for Satan

A few weeks ago our friend told us about this place: Naked for Satan.

Judging by the pictures above, you can't really tell what this place is.  Well, it's a cocktail lounge in Fitzroy that specializes in infused vodka and pintxos (which are basically h'orderves). The waitress comes around offering you these delicious finger foods which you grab with toothpicks or your hands. They go by the honor system, so at the end of your trip you simply take the toothpicks to the register and pay your bill. We didn't try the infused vodka because we are still on our healthy month *womp!* so we'll report back.

But, as you can see, there was more "interestingness" around us.  The walls are covered with retro naked people and so are the menus.  This place is definitely eye-catching to say the least.

Day 236: Zip, Zero, Zilch

Home made pasta salad by Adonis. Brain food for business planning.

We did nothing today. It was pouring outside, so why move from the couch?  We spent the day business planning and watching movies. At least it was a productive day ... kinda, in a way.

Day 235: Opie the Boxer

Meet Opie! He's sooooo cool! He's named after a Sons of Anarchy character, Opie. If you read this blog you know that we are SOA fans! He is an energetic, silly, and crazy lovable puppy. 

Ugh... this makes me miss Tyson terribly:

Here are quick scenes from our Friday night:

Day 234: Want to Escape!

It's getting warmer outside and we want to escape... too bad we can't just hop in a taxi and go away for the weekend (with a driver) lol. We are going to Sydney next weekend though! And, we are planning a quick Christmas getaway. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 233: The Night Market

Summer is upon us in Melbourne, and that means the Suzuki Night Market is officially open every Wednesday evening. Woot! This means cool vendors, good entertainment, drinks, and goooooood foooooood!!! Unfortunately, our month long vegetarian diet is not finished until next Tuesday. So that means we'll have to go back next Wednesday for booze and food! Adonis Says: Geez louise!!! Why is there always an excuse to cheat on a diet? Live entertainment, samba and salsa bands, sangria, and smokey brazilian BBQ drifting through the air.....All types of international cuisine including an entire roast pig in the Italian station WTF?! So you damn skippy we'll be back next week!!

Oh, we are all caught up with all Sons of Anarchy Seasons, but had to circle back to Season 1 because we missed half of it. So our evenings have been spent on the couch watching at least two episodes at a time.

     Was SAMCRO at the night market?! lol

Day 232: Health & Wellness Update, November

Can you see the difference three weeks makes? Thats from November 6th to the 21st. BTW, I'm not shaving till I lose case you see the bush over grow my facial features lol...
Talk about off the wagon! And I wasn't even running behind it to jump back on. All for good reason though. From the time we left for Thailand in July till the beginning of November, I was off the healthy eating plan. After returning from Japan, I immediately jumped on a flight to New York to attend my Grandmother's funeral. Ten days later my grandfather died and I was back on a plane to Melbourne. Friends from home were around to visit for about two weeks, followed by group dinners, birthday parties, and more friends traveling and friends visiting. Whew, I swear the past 3 months are nearly a blur.

Now that I just said that, I can't believe I was off my plan for 3 months. I learned a lot in that time. I learned that all the changes I made, have to be lifestyle changes. I learned that going back to my old ways is not an option. I swear fat has a memory, and as soon as you allow it to creep back into you diet, it goes right back to where you lost it from. I choose to get back to healthy eating and exercising. I started several weeks ago with the Lemon detox diet. It was something I had heard about a long time ago but never looked into it. The claims seemed to good to be true. I am still a blank slate, and if the theory sounds solid, then I can buy into the hype. After spending the better part of the taking protein powders and creatine supplements, I figured a detox was just the thing to restore the harmonic balance my body needed. I did the detox for 11 days and it was everything I wanted and more. I started at 256lb's and lost a pound everyday I was on it. Thats right, 11 days later I was 245 and feeling great. Its a detox, so read into it. It did everything a detox was supposed to do and I'll spare you the details. 
Being that the majority of the weight loss comes from water weight, I wasn't surprised to gain about 5 of it back over the course of 4 weeks. During that time I wanted to see how my body would react to all cardio workouts, with no strength training. First thing I noticed was that my body felt great. I wasn't sore and experiencing back pain like I normally do. My workouts primarily consisted of about 20min's of stretching and 30mins on the treadmill. I did a lot of sit-ups, push ups, and circuits with light dumb bells (5lbs). This was all well and good, but still not getting me to the results I was after. I decided that I was going back on the diet and this time being a little more strict about my intake. This time around, along with hitting the weights, I will be attending kickboxing & Body Combat classes. So far so good, and I'm seeing positive results. I feel stronger and my stamina is the best its EVER been. This diet I'm doing is mainly vegetarian. Heavy on salads and vegetables. All fresh and some raw. I have eaten some meats, mainly tuna and some other types of fresh fish. I have included pictures for your enjoyment. Just to give you an idea of how to eat healthy but still keep it interesting. The vegetarian thing is only for a month though. After what the chicken has done for black people all around the world, how could I refuse to eat it. Stay tuned for more updates.

Have you heard me talk about my vege wraps? Well this is what I'm referring to. Definitely not for the beginner, as you'll probably think its too bland. But, the point it to taste the vege, not the dressing or seasoning. Here I have arugula, chive/garlic/alfalfa sprout mix, avocado, red onion, lime, and orange. The wrap is a low cal, onion and garlic baked wheat wrap. If I'm not feeling arugula I used mixed greens as an alternative. However, if you're like Diana, that may taste even more like weeds to some of you.

How do you take your tuna? Here's my recipe, can of tuna 25gs, tablespoon low fat mayo, tablespoon of red onion chopped, teaspoon of relish, and half teaspoon of cayenne. I like the spice of cayenne pepper plus it helps to stoke your metabolism! For lunch I would either have a plain salad, no dressing or the wrap I have in the pictures. Pictured above is an example of my dinner. We've been eating dinner around 6-630 and heading to the gym on non-class days at 7:30. To end the night I'll snack on an orange and drink a ton of water. Thats all folks!

Day 231: Peonies, I loves!

I love Peonies!! When we picked them up from the florist, they were tight flower balls.  Then, in the same night they started to bloom! How cool! I love to see flowers "come alive" right before my eyes. The next morning (and the following days) they bloomed into these huge flowers.  I highly recommend these beauties. They are still holding strong too. Don't be surprised if you see them again next week.

Interesting Note:
The peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 230: Hi. I'm 29 today.

I'm a day late posting this. I was too busy enjoying my birthday to blog.

"28" was a great year for me. I am thankful for another year full of love, support, and small successes. I don't take anything for granted and I give thanks every day.  So, what should I do in my last year of 20-something? Who knows?! Stay tuned for what this new year brings for me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 229: Silk Rd.

We headed to Silk Road on Saturday night.  It's just a short walk away from our apartment (1 brownie point!).  To our delight there was no cover (sa-weet! two brownie points!).  The place was mucho fancy and the people were dressed to match.  It was a weird mixed crowd: mid-late 20's and people in their 40's.  Weird right? But, it was nice to see that the older crowd still gets down around here. The place was full of epic statues, paintings, and chandeliers. As we walked in and made our way to the mezzanine area we both couldn't help but think how badly we wanted a drink! Remember, we are on a one month detox from alcohol. *sigh*  We met up with our friend, Vic, and met his friends (two of which were celebrating Scorpio birthdays, like me!!).  We made our way to the dance floor, boogied, and went home.  We would have stayed longer if the music was a bit different.  Listening and dancing to electro-pop all night long is hard to do when you aren't drizzy.

Day 228: Always By Your Side

As I walked back to work after lunch today ... I noticed a lot of butterfly/moths flying around. No idea where they came from or why there were so many of them. I happened to look down and saw these two tiny butterflies (or moths), and my heart melted.  Like a true photographer, I had my camera in hand to snap the photo. I was afraid of getting too close because I thought the butterfly would fly away, but it didn't. It stayed right next to it's injured, and maybe half dead, partner. It was extremely windy too, but the butterfly did not budge.

In my head, these two are lovers... and they were beautiful. If this were me and Adonis, I wouldn't leave him. I'd be right there by his side.  I couldn't imagine leaving him if he were hurt. No wind, no giant could make me move.

I went back after work and I didn't see them. Maybe the hurt one recovered and flew away. Or, maybe the live one flew away after the wind took the other one away.

Friday Night:
We met up with some friends at Shinssi Hwaro Korean BBQ.  It was our first time ever having Korean BBQ and we liked it! You order a bunch of meat and veggies and throw it on the gas grill at your table. It all smelled and tasted good. The tubes from the ceiling are just vents to suck up all the BBQ smoke. Our only complaint is that the food wasn't filling, but we would definitely go back.

 It wasn't our first time in this area but we were pleasantly surprised to find more laneway art as we walked back home that night:

Day 227: Funky Weather

Melbourne weather is so on again off again. Within the same day it can be sunny/warm and then a few hours later it will be cloudy and chilly.... and then nice again a few hours later. It makes it tough to dress for. You never know if it will be chilly, raining, sunny, windy. You'll see alot of Melbournians dressed in layers. Some are so used to it that they just tough it out and wear one layer and deal with whatever weather conditions come their way.

The clouds above are a perfect example.  When I went to work in the morning it was bright and sunny with a light breeze. Now, it's lunch time and it's gloomy and extremely windy.

Day 226: Photog Wear

We saw this ad/shirt on our way back from food shopping today. Made me think how much I need some nerdy and cool photog wear. I know juuuuust the place to get something: The Rose. St. Artist Market we go to often has some camera pendants =)

Day 225: Lunch Scenes

Fairly uneventful day.

I've noticed that my work building is very well maintained.  There's always some kind of cleaning, repair, or enhancement being done.  Lot's of money spent on this building. It can be annoying at times for someone that has to be there everyday but oh well, it is what it is.

Day 224: Gym Time

This has been a serious month for us for health and wellness. We have a strict diet and have been hitting the gym hard. This includes reduced meat intake, no drinking alcohol or juice or soda -- only water and sometimes hitting the gym twice on Mondays for two classes. Our bodies are going through a detox.

When I tell people that I am on this plan with Adonis they look at me all weird because I'm already skinny. I tell people that me working out and healthy eating first and foremost is for maintenance and prevention.  Keeping active helps you sleep better, keeps your heart strong, the blood flowing, etc. etc. It's not always about being skinny.  If you knew me, you would know that I was a serious skinny mini (even smaller than I am today). I don't miss my skinnier days and I don't want to lose weight. I actually want to keep this weight.  Secondly, I support my husband on his weight loss journey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 223: Box Hill Station

My dear friend and co-worker invited us over for lunch. I was so excited because she is a chef extraordinaire!! She made chicken rice, a chicken stock and egg soup, along with some side veggies and salad.  Yum!! Her boys were adorable, her husband was welcoming and sweet, and I wanted to steal her doggie -- Einstein the Mini Schnauzer. Our other co-worker made a truffle that was evil because it was sooo good!

It was a long train and bus ride away but it was cool seeing a different part of the Melbourne suburbs. I don't ride the bus much around Melbourne, but I'm going to reconsider taking it a big more often because you get to see the neighborhoods a bit more.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 222: Photo booth at Flinders St.

We have walked past these booths hundreds of times. I always want to stop and get a photo strip but it's always at night and Adonis scares me out of it by saying that people probably peed and vomited in the booth lol.  One day ... I will take some photos in this booth!

Day 221: Guatemala in Melbourne

I think I've found one of the best breakfast deals near work: 1 small coffee (or hot chocolate) and an english muffin with eggs (many options) for $5.50. I know our people back home would think it's expensive, and it is ... but not for Melbourne. This deal can be found at "In a Rush" in the Freshwater Place Arcade.  Oh, and the staff is really friendly.  Their coffee's origin is currently from Guatemala!  I've actually seen a few cafe's with Guatemalan coffee.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 220: We Are... STILL Penn State

Probably the last time I wear this shirt.... 
Roar Lions Roar!

Being a two-time graduate of Penn State University makes me so proud. Unfortunately, the most recent incidents involving top school officials and figures have put Penn State in the negative spotlight. It's disgusting what these men did (and did not do) for years. I hope the legal system works like it should in this situation. It's unfortunate that our legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno, had to end his career in this way. But, it's like they say... "with great power, come great responsibility". Sometimes doing nothing or saying nothing is just as bad.

My prayers and thoughts go out to the victims and their families. I only hope that this is a reminder for all of us to speak up, especially when children are involved. This horrific crime occurs all over this world. Let's protect our children. Speak up!

Does this make Penn State a bad university... no.
Does this make me less proud to bleed blue and white .... nope.

I feel compelled to talk about my Penn State pride because everyone is making this about Penn State as a whole, instead of focusing on the offenders. This isn't the first and last scandal this university will face. However, I hope that we learn from it and NEVER repeat a disgusting cover-up like this again.

In this dark time, I'd like to remind my fellow Nittany Lions and educate those who don't know some of Penn State's greatness:
  • Founders of Ben & Jerry's learned how to make ice cream through a Penn State correspondence course
  • Penn State employee/researcher Erwin Wilhelm was the first person to "see" an atom and it happened at Penn State University
  • The first African-American man in space, Guion Bluford Jr, is a Penn State Alumni
  • Penn State chemists/staff were the ones behind the foundation for what is now birth control.
  • Presidents, CEOs (current and former), and founders of these companies are Penn Staters:

    • Verizon Wireless
    • Nike
    • Fischer Price
    • The Disney Channel
    • Dell
    • Weebly
    • Sears
    • Etc. Etc. Etc.
  • Countless athletes, politicians, and TV personalities are amongst Penn State Alumni
  • Home of the largest student-run philanthropy in the country raising MILLIONS for kids fighting cancer
I could go on and on. I will not let this scandal overshadow Penn State's contributions to me, the state, the country ... and yes, even the world.

This rant is not meant to take the focus away from the victims, but instead to show that this single incident does not define or represent the university and it's history.

We are ... STILL Penn State.

Day 219: Laundry Day(s)

It's not always fun and games in Casa De Long. We do grown-up stuff too, like laundry lol.
It's tough to do laundry for two in this small apartment. If we have lots of laundry then it might even be a two day effort due to the lack of drying space/racks for the "non-dryer" clothes.

One load at a time.

Day 218: Amazing Orange Sky

I woke up this morning about two hours before I was supposed to and I saw a thin bright orange line in the sky from the reflection of our closet mirror. I thought "How pretty, the sun is rising" and went back to sleep. I woke up an hour later and the entire sky was a bright burnt Africa orange. It was gorgeous!! I had to get out of bed to take a picture of it.  Yup, that's the picture above. Unfortunately it looks pink and purple!! WTF?! I need a new camera phone. I was still in a sleepy daze so I didn't think to grab one of my other cameras. *humph* 

Day 217: Bye Bye Roses

I think last week's flowers got jealous of my new anniversary flowers, they are half dead. At least they are still pretty!

Day 216: Mr. & Mrs. Long... 1 Yr Later

Photo Credit: Photo Pink (Our amazing wedding photographers!!)

A year ago today, Nov. 6, 2011, Mr & Mrs. Long became official.

It's hard to believe that we got married a year ago! This has been the easiest year of our relationship and we know we are blessed to experience such an amazing first year. Just before the wedding, I was offered the opportunity to work in Australia for a year. I talked to Adonis about it and I told him that I wasn't going without him. He replied, "So, let's go!"

I have to admit that I was very apprehensive about moving to other side of the world because (1) we had never lived together in the 5 years that we were together prior to getting married (2) we heard that the 1st year of marriage was the hardest, so I thought it would be risky to live in another country where we would have NO support and (3) we thought it was going to be a financially tough year because Adonis would be leaving his career behind. What if he didn't find work in Australia?

My husband's support has been incredible and I hope our kids see it as a great example in the future. Most men wouldn't be able to do what he did and what he does. I love, like, adore, admire, and am inspired by my husband. In a way I'm a bit mad that no one else can actually feel the magnitude of love and admiration I have for him because it's an amazing feeling and I want everyone to be able to feel these emotions ... but then again, I am blessed in knowing that I'm the only person in the world that can feel this way for him.

Our first year of marriage was well spent:
  • Traveling to Fiji, Thailand, Japan, and various parts of Australia
  • Adonis joined the Victoria Gridiron League where he kicked ass every game
  • We unexpectedly met amazing people, and so glad to call them our friends now
  • Took four close friends around a few places Australia
  • I even turned into a lite version of Adonis lol
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.
The best part about it is that our family and friends have continued to stay in touch regardless of the distance. They love and support has been felt many many many miles away from home. 

Photo Credit: Photo Pink

... And in honor of our 365, here are pictures from our last day in Cairns.