Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Last Frap...

Starbucks will be closing almost two thirds of its stores here in Australia. Unfortunately, this includes the ones here in Adelaide.

I was genuinely excited when Starbucks opened a place in the city sometime ago. Although Australia certainly has lots of other good coffee places, only Starbucks had the frappucinos we like. Nothing beats a good frap on a hot summer day. Even though it is the middle of winter, and seeing that it was the Adelaide store's last day today, we just had to go and get that last caramel java frappucino. Needless to say, we savored the cups till the last drop.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Originally uploaded by chazzvid
We had some left over uncooked meatloaf from last week so I decided to make it into the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Pasta is one of the easiest meals we can make.

In this case, I cooked the meatballs first by frying them. Then I took the meatballs of the pan, made a quick pasta sauce with garlic, onions and a can of crushed tomatoes in olive oil while the noodles was boiling away. When the sauce and noodles was ready I just mixed the meatballs, pasta and sauce together. Garnish with some parsley and parmesan it's a quick and easy dinner.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Exercise Bike

Exercise Bike
Originally uploaded by chazzvid
And speaking of exercise bikes...

It's the height of winter now and so we can still keep active we decided to get an exercise bike. Think of it as a birthday present I suppose. It's great to get the heart pumping especially when it's too cold to get out in the morning.

Hope we can keep it up! ;)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Scenes From A Dinner

Yesterday's dinner was great. As my wife posted, the kids behaved perfectly and the food was just as good. Here are just a few pictures.

The food was good as usual. The kids had a simple spaghetti napoletana and a wood fired hawaiian pizza. Myself I had a small rack of lamb and the wife had a ham, salami and mushroom pizza. Washed down with wine and gelati for the kids while the wife and I shared a tiramisu. Yummy. Now to hit the exercise bike!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hubby's Birthday Today

Today we decided to have dinner at this Italian restaurant we've been going to for the past couple of years. Each time we go there, we don't seem to be able to finish the meal as the kids get bored, or tired , or sleepy or all of the above. There was even a time we had to get our half eaten pizza to go as the kids were getting cranky in the middle of the meal. Good thing the wood fired pizza was so good, it was still good enough to eat cold when we got home.

But tonight, it was perfect! The place was not that full to begin with, and the kids were in a good mood. We managed to keep them occupied with conversation about school until the main meals arrived. And when the meals arrived, they ate it all, and even had room for dessert of gelati.

It was certainly a great way to celebrate hubby's 34th birthday, we the adults even had a glass of wine with our meal, and shared a great tasting tiramisu for dessert! Overall, a lovely meal to share with my lovely husband and kids.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Writing Stories

Just recently we've found out that the girl started to write her own stories. Her mom found a piece of paper the other day with the beginnings of a short story that the girl was working on. It was something to do with a child who needed to know his true identity. It was a good beginning and although I offered to write the first paragraph down in the blog she didn't really want to because she said it wasn't finished yet.

Of course, I shall respect her wishes as a writer and won't put it down here but I'm glad that she's actually showing a writing bent. At school they are actually thought to write stories about their weekends or what happened during school holidays but this is the first time I've actually seen her write something outside of school and just for herself.

I hope she can keep up her love of reading and writing as I'm eager to see how her story ends...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Watchmen Trailer Now Online

Just saw the first trailer of the new Watchmen movie. It looked cool! Couldn't imagine that they could pull it off but Zack Snyder ( of "300" fame ) seems to have got it right judging by this early look. Go see it.

Boy's Sick Day

The little boy is generally a morning person. He wakes up with a smile and just is quite a happy chappy in the morning. Today he wasn't like that. He woke up with a "rumbly tummy" and although he got up for breakfast, we had to bring him back to his bed because we really wasn't feeling OK. In fact, he threw up a little bit and went back to sleep. Of course, we were a bit worried but we knew he was going to be fine.

Both girls took care of him this morning and he soon bounced back in the early afternoon. Thanks to loads of Skyflakes and tinola that his mom cooked.

Anyway, I wonder if it's this winter bug that's going around. Good thing that he beat it off right away. I hope no one else catches it in the house.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kitchen Experiments

There's a show on TV called Backyard Science that the kids and us enjoy very much. It's an educational show thats presents all kinds of science experiments that kids can do. One recent episode showed how oil and water do not mix and an experiment that shows how.

Because it was another cold and rainy winter day, the kids and their mom decided do the their own version of the experiment. The experiment involved putting oil and water together in a jug and dropping food dye on it. The dye would go through the oil at the top and mix with the water below instead. The results looked gorgeous.

Sunday Lunch

As an early birthday celebration for me and a belated one for my wife, we invited a few friends of ours out for lunch.  We went to this Vietnamese restaurant we discovered while taking the kids to swimming lessons.  They've always had good and cheap food although there's a little language barrier sometimes.

It was nice to get together with our friends again, and the food was quite nice.  There was some crisp fried chicken, crispy noodles, stir fried vegetables and ginger fish among other things.  Sorry I couldn't get more photos but all of us were hungry at the table, especially the kids!  

Friday, July 11, 2008

Winter School Holidays

This time of year, kids have a couple of weeks off from school called the school holidays. At lunch today in the city, it was nice to see a lot more kids than usual. This time around, most kids and parents we saw were happy spending some quality time with each other.

Lately, we even see activities in the city geared towards the kids in many shops. One summer, we saw some farm animals in a small enclosure for the kids to pet and feed. Another time, there were craft areas where kids can draw or paint to their hearts content. I think there was even a time a small ice rink was set up of ice skating. All these activities are free, and so are very popular among the people.

One such activity that I found quite unique and exciting was called the "Winter Wonderland Trail" . Its like a treasure hunt where kids are asked to visit about a dozen shops all around Rundle mall, pick up clues to solve a riddle and then pick up some free goodies along the way. A couple of years ago, I was among those that participated in this activity with both kids. The older child (about 5 yrs old) was eager to do all the tasks on the trail, while the younger one (about 2 yrs old) was getting bored towards the end since he spent most of it in the pram. It would have been a more pleasant experience for me if I did not have to carry so many things like the nappy bags, pram, etc. Also, it would have helped if I was a bit more familiar with the city. Since I was not working at that time, a lot of the places on the trail were shops that I did not even know existed. It was like the "amazing race" with kids! By the time we met up with hubby for lunch, I was so tired of running around.

But now that I work in the city and the kids are older, a lot more mobile, can carry their own backpacks, with no pram needed, I am tempted to go on this trail again. Hopefully this time it will be a more enjoyable experience for all of us. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


We've always known that the kids were especially chatty, downright talkative even but recently we've noticed how the boy seems to just talk non-stop all the time.   When we do the morning school runs, I've noticed how he would just talk on and on from the moment we got into the car all the way to school.  He would do running commentary about things he would see out the window, like the moon, or some birds in the trees and stuff like that.  And he actually has a loud voice for someone his size.  I blame it on the Vidal genes for loud talking. :)

One time,  as he was chatting along in the back seat on the way to school, I didn't quite get what he was talking about and I had to ask him what he just said.  

"I wasn't talking to you Daddy," he replied. "I was talking to myself!"

Serves me right for barging into his conversation, with himself!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Playing With Glasses

Playing With Glasses
Originally uploaded by chazzvid
The kids found their mom's glasses and decided to start wearing them. They look adorable.