Mid-May Shopping Marathons 2017 @ Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday 16th May

The biannual shopping festivals! Most years Chadstone & Melbourne Central have their weeks a week apart, though this year its one right after the other!

It started on a Tuesday afternoon where we took the shuttle bus to Chadstone from the NGV, which takes about half an hour. It's a coach (fancy bus w leather seats, rare) with climate control and a direct route, the way to travel.

Over the years we'd discovered that it's the events/activities and freebies that get people going, if they're not motivated enough by the sales. May sales aren't what I'm after, June is the time to shop.

I'm curious as to how much time we spend lining up as a Melbournian, they say anything lining up for is worth it. Lol. No. We lined up for 3hrs to get our nails done the opening of TopShop, we never got there. 

3.04 Hot Choc Line
3.12 Done! Cupcakes sold out.

3.15 Ice Cream Line
3.50 Done! There's only one attendant and the machine keeps overheating and crashing

Worth waiting for? No, but I had a book.

4.00 Pompom snow dome!! Only open 5mins on the hr. It's a pompom tag giveaway. Lol. People trying to get one for their friends.

4.25 Target
4.55 Won a pompom! Well two, but you can only have one. I do love the claw!

We got all the freebies and a few pompoms, the main freebie that everyone's doing. Why? There's a tag and when you spend over $150 you can get it embossed with your initials. Tde made this very popular. Though minster minute does it too, how much we're not sure.

Free donuts! Also West Elm/Pottery Barn had these awesome caky donuts from Dessert Parlour - a place we love! What sets them apart is their investment in marketing. 

Regret purchase, it's so flat with no width that it's pretty much a card holder. 
A not clear one that you need to empty out to find anything.

Fairy Floss! We were lucky last in this line. 

Dinner at the Burger Project, too salty with the American cheese. 
I prefer the mushroom. Chips were very crispy!

$3 magazine with a brownie/slice pan, why yes I do need one of these. 

Chadstone Freebies! Including a notebook and pouch.

All the pompoms! 5.5hrs. A walk in the park :P

Wednesday 17th May

Day 2! With a 9am start we participated in the treasure/scavenger hunt.

Also bought some stuff along the way. 

The gift set is a GWP, the masks are $10 for 3. Yes we will use them.

Outside The Strand there was fake plasticy snow, not enough to be impressive though. 

MRP had a moving sale, he lined up for 1.5hrs to get to the checkout. 

Some current Kate Spade favourites! Alas my bag requirements are huge!

At 5pm there was a bake sale, though as Dessert Parlour wasn't there we didn't go. There were other things on, and you'd be lining up for at least an hour. For us to line up it needs to be free or on major sale. The idea of lining up for brunch is just crazy.

4.50 Line starts.
5.28 Latte obtained. 

40 minutes for a coffee, not even full cream. It was actually kinda gross with soy. There were free cookies, but do you really want to line up for another 40 minutes? *dies*

Things we bought and freebies along the way. Treasure Hunts in the morning, a meeting then back to the city to line up and have dinner. I think we might be getting too old for this stuff! I feel as thought this might be our last year. 

Did you go shopping in May?

Food, Events & Opera. My Life. @ Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday 15th May

At some point, maybe last night? We made pink murry river sea-ish salt cookies! These were addictive with apples! Sadly most were forgotten about and perished. Note to self to bring them to the studio.

Traveling for meetings always comes with a chance to try new places nearby! Lunch deals are the best, and today it's a return visit to KaChin. Lemon Chicken $10. It was very good though the dish itself reminds me of food court but better. It was sweet and tangy, not oily or chewy. Would have preferred more salad and less rice though.

Tuesday & Wednesday
The biannual shopping festivals!

Day 1 - Chadstone - Yes the pompoms were a highlight.

Day 2 - The City.

Assertiveness test! Internationals... and by that I mean chinese (only for the first two scenarios). Thrice my assertive skills were tested:
1. Girls behind me talking very very loudly, just to each other - it sounded like they were across the room from each other! Staring at them didn't work, normally does.
2. Another girl standing way too close to me, waaay too close!
3. Pram pusher pushed in line, can't tell if she was doing it on purpose or not, said something but she didn't hear me? Stared her down, that worked.


9am start. A challenge these days.

Friday Lunch at D'Tandoor. - $13.50 all you can eat is served upstairs, and there's four dishes. Chicken, goat, lentils and veg. With rice, naan, salad and white sauce (raita?).

A great deal, especially if you're a bottomless pit. Though it's how much you'd normally pay for just the main minus naan/rice so a good deal either way.


We were late and missed a workshop *sigh* mornings we struggle with. Lunch at the market, service was aloof, but the cheese toasties were awesome! A once in a while treat.

At the library we came across an awesome book about granny skills, we loved it so much we ordered two copies! It's mainly cooking but here's a page on laundry. Appears to be a small batch hard to find book.

Over to sushi (dinner prep), their wifi wasn't working while my app was. Then my banking app didn't work. Quite a bit of a challenge to work this app!

7/11 donuts. My card wasn't working, a day of fails...
Carmen was spectacular! Bright bold matadors, the music and passion/games. One set with just the change of props and lighting, a town square became every scene.

We were delighted to have experienced the vip experience, with the fast pass ticket collection line (for guests and media), free program, very good seats (damn tall person) and drinks in the private  guests lounge during interval.

We're ticked Carmen off the list. It was amazing to hear all the music that we know so well, live!

Q - Why doesn't Carmen sing before she dies? That was disappointing! There's always time for a song after you're shot/stabbed.

Thursday 11th May

On our way back to the station from an event we came upon a lovely local bakery that looked fascinating. They've been here for 30yrs but have no reviews on zomato?! And only two on Yelp... But they do have a facebook presence where they announce the daily bakes. The interior has much underutilized space and makes it look like they're new.

Damn reflective glass, there should be a sticker or something to reduce that. 

What we have our eye on, yes I know we just came from morning tea.

Firebrand Bakery, a small rustic bakery on main street, that creates hand-shaped sourdough bread baked in an original 1930s wood fired oven, without using commercial yeast or additives.

Personally I'm iffy about things being unwrapped, people breathe on them, and bugs (flies touch them...) I prefer everything shrink wrapped.  

There's a large selection of unwrapped paper bagged loafs, to give that real rustic feel, some baked slices/muffins and Boscastle pies. At 1.30pm they were almost sold out of pies.

I'd love an assortment of party pies! Alas there were only big ones.

Our picks for today, sadly can't get a loaf on our way to another meet.

We had the chicken mushroom well seasoned and herbed without being too salty or liquidy. Delicious! Yes you can buy these in the freezer at IGA. As someone who grew up on pastries (and frozen food in general) these are one of the best I've had, with a matching price tag.

A flourless raspberry & boysenberry slice was what we're really here for. At $5 it was average price, though we were happy with the size. The slice was just like a friand! Moist all the way and delightful! Can't wait to get this again.

I would have like the option to serve it warm with cream but it's takeaway only. Though some tables outside would be nice.

Service was very friendly, unexpectedly they take card, no min. Unlike the fruit shop on the same strip.

We can't wait to return for a loaf and sourdough chocolate croissants! I think a warm loaf (even if it was warmed on the journey home) is one of life's most wonderful simple pleasures!

Firebrand Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday 11th May
A morning tea at Ripponlea followed with a chance to explore the exhibition and gardens on a Thursday morning in mid-ish May. Ripponlea has been on the list to explore for years! Though by the time we get around to making a tour booking it's winter and there's an exhibition on. And so only the kitchens downstairs are open.

An exhibition featuring Victorian (as in the state, not era) fashion over 20 years from the early 1920s to the Moderne style of the 30s. "A time where stars, sophistication and city lights influenced the fashion worn by the well-dressed." Nowadays it's about wonder how short you can wear it without being arrested for incident exposure XD Also going out in your underclothes like tights as pants and slips as dresses... look away.

Entering the exhibition you could play dress up and borrow a dress to wear around the mansion, there's adult and kid's sizes. Nothing in my size (12-14) though, when it comes to one size fits all the reference is to sz8-10. *sigh* Also I'm vertically challenged for the women's sizing.

Black is in! Though it's anything but plain with all those details!

Downstairs is all about the 20s Night Life, our favourite time of the day! For all the wonderful things happen at night, trips to the theatre, parties (assuming we were invited). Isn't everything just lovely?! It's often made locally or sent over from England too, nothing here was made with the intention of being worn a few times to end up in the trash after a couple wears, nor was anything made in bulk. It was the relatively good old days. When things were made with love and to last. 

Upstairs featured in the 1930s. There was a most definitely shift in style from 20s beading, sequins and jazz (for evening wear only) to the more embroidery and lace trends with waists of the 30s.

My favorite pieces? A camilla and marc-esque cape and the dark beaded dresses. 

After the exhibition we went for a stroll around the gardens, and climbing stone steps which may have been a mistake in city shoes. It's always a good idea to wear boots when going exploring!

You could hire these row boats for events I believe.

The trek back to the front gates, boots are a very good idea as the drive way isn't paved.

There's tea rooms at the gate house! Though as we just had morning tea, and are on our way to afternoon tea we'll have to return later on! The exhibition runs till the end of July, and we shall return to share a house tour with you all!

Have you been to Ripponlea? Which era is your favourite?

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