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I’m now less than a week out to a birthday that pushes me well into my twenties (well, glaring down the barrel to 30 is probably more like it), and this post got me thinking that I think about taking a few more (calculated) risky adventures.  Notice how I said “think about”.

I haven’t done many crazy things – I went canyoning in Slovenia, slipping down rock slides, abseiling down waterfalls and ziplining through jungles.  Mountain biking through Cat Ba island in Vietnam was a definite thrill.  Jumping off a three story boat in Ayvalik was seriously scary.

But I’d like to have a few more adventures – more crazy things to tell my grandkids.  Unfortunately since I had my laser eye surgery, I won’t be able to bungee or skydive but I’m sure I’d be able to find something!

So I’d love to know – what are the most extreme activities you’ve done?  I’d love to hear your adventures, and live vicariously through you if you’ve bungee’d or skydove!

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Gosh, it really feels like we haven’t had a summer here in Brisbane!  I think we had about 3 days of sunshine and hot weather!  It was another miserable weekend, continuing on today, which strangely enough feels perfectly suitable for a Monday.

It’s making me seriously crave for Japanese tonkotsu ramen.  I’m a ramen fantatic – I will search out high and low for the best ramen, and tonkotsu, a rich, steamy, pork-based broth, is my absolute favourite base for the al dente egg noodles that bathe within.  In Brisbane, Haktaya Ramen is my favourite, with Taro’s Ramen Cafe ranking second.

My absolute favourite in the whole world though is Ichiran Ramen.  P and I first discovered it 5 years ago on our first overseas trip together.  Arriving in Osaka, we’d stumbled around trying to get our bearings when we noticed a really long line snaking around, ascending into a black building with a red kanji sign.  Thinking it was some hot club (being 22 years old at the time!), we lined up, not realising that the meal we were about to have would literally change our lives.  We now have a policy when we go overseas to unfamiliar restaurants that if there’s no line-up, it can’t be that good.

The unique thing about Ichiran is that they only have one type of ramen, but you can personalise it the way you want.  You can check out my preferences above – I used to pile on the green onions but they always used to make me choke because I would hoover the whole lot down in one go!  You can only dine in private booths, separate from all those around you, which I find great so that you can savour your ramen in solitary peace.

Such is P’s and my fanaticism that when we were in Japan with his family, we would wake up at 6:00am every morning just to have these delicious noodles for breakfast – Ichiran is open 24 hours!  I really cherished these stolen 15 minutes with P – it was “our” time together.

So guess where we’re stopping after a 2.5 week sojourn in Italy, France and Spain for our honeymoon?  You guessed it – four days in Tokyo.  It wouldn’t be us without ramen.

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Our Sydney girl’s weekend away was far too much fun.  So much fun that I didn’t end up getting to take many pictures! The weather was miserable but it didn’t stop us or get us down at all – it was fun huddling under umbrellas, giggling and trying not to trip over!

E, our resident Sydney-sider, showed us her favourite haunts, like Cafe Morso in Pyrmont for breakfast – I ate the most delicious bacon and eggs breakfast gnocchi, and the girls had things like smoked pork and gruyere risotto, bircher museli and sauteed mushrooms with truffled scrambled eggs.  Some of it was not your usual breakfast fare, but seriously yummy stuff!

Jamie’s Italian was a massive hit.  We ate all of E’s recommendations for starters, which included Jamie’s famous polenta chips, creamy mozzarella salad, the beautiful bruschetta and some of the most delicious crispy squid I’ve ever had.  Everyone else opted for entree sized mains after all those starters – of course, I opted for main size and soon regretted it.  But how could I have only an entree portion of creamy saffron and parmesan mozzarella with bone marrow and lemon parsley gremolata?  We also highly recommend the Gin and Earl Grey Martini, which we all agreed was the best cocktail we’d ever had (and maybe we had a few too many).

On our last night for dinner, we went to Cyren’s at Darling Harbour, which had a spectacular view of Sydney CBD and was right at the water’s edge.  We shared platters of food, bottles of wine and watched the fireworks light up the sky under the glass ceiling.

I know our next girl’s weekend can’t come soon enough!  Thanks again, girls!

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And speaking of weird Taiwanese restaurants, check out this “Modern Toilet” restaurant!  Everything is served in toilet paraphernalia – need a napkin?  Grab it from the toilet roll!  Drinks are served in urinal cups, guests sit on toilet-shaped seats and ice creams are served in the shape of turds!  I’ve seen a lot of weird things, but this probably takes the cake.

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So so so so super freaking excited about this weekend – my girlfriends and I are taking off to Sydney to meet E and we are going to be painting the town red.  We have plans to shop til we drop (Zara, here I come), eat as many glorious things as possible (we have lunch reservations at Jamie’s Italian!), and consume many cocktails and much vino.  I have been looking forward to this for so long, it’s so fun to have girl time!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here’s some of my favourite links from around the web.

The ultimate lipstick chart by Cupcakes and Cashmere

Peanut butter toast crunch treats – why do we not have this cereal in Australia?!

DIY feather wreaths – these look so fun!

I really want this NARS “And God Gave Us Woman” makeup set – looks so handy for travel.  I’ll be using Hop, Skip, Jump to get it to me.

20 hilarious Pinterest fails

Feeling slightly morbid and creeped out after seeing these photographs of famous people just before their deaths

STILL battling this cold I whinged about last week – it’s now just a barking cough, but this lovely remedy looks like it could help!

Omg chocolate sables, get in my belly.

Fourteen famous models on their breakout gigs

Beyonce’s Superbowl rehearsals

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This weekend’s a pretty busy one, with baby showers and heading out on the town, as well as boring things like unpacking *cough* yes, still haven’t done it yet!  After coming back from Japan, I’m starting to suffer from post-holiday blues but I’m really excited to be planning for this year’s travels, so stay tuned!

The temperature has risen today and it looks like it’s going to be a super hot weekend with no respite in sight.  I’ll be fantasising about beautiful fall sunsets in Paris and clear blue waters in the Amalfi Coast.  Hope your weekend is going to be as lovely as these pretty Parisian pictures.

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At least, according to the Japanese.  I will never cease to be amazed at the lengths the Japanese go to to remain hygenic and free from germs.  Those electric bidets you’ve heard about on toilets to wash your butt?  Totally true.  They’re even tailored to your gender, and will wash your privates according to where they’re *ahem* placed.  You can control the speed, temperature of the water, power of the jet and after you’ve washed yourself content, you can then blowdry your behind so it’s as fresh as a baby’s bottom.

I was too chicken to try it, after P mistakenly pressed the female button and got a spray in the wrong direction.  But my Japanese friends tell me that they swear by them, and once you’ve tried it once, you can’t go back.  Strange addiction, wouldn’t you say?

Since today will be one of my last posts for this year, I thought I’d leave you with some travel-lust-worthy quotes that will hopefully inspire you to travel more in the coming year.  I probably won’t get much internet in Japan, but where I do, I’ll try to post updates and pictures of our adventures!  I’m not looking forward to the cold, which apparently will be highs of 3-5 degrees and lows of negative temperatures, but what I AM looking forward to is shopping (especially at Zara) and eating!

Thank you all for following my blog, and I hope you have wonderful Christmases, happy New Years and a great holiday season!  Peace out!

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If you follow my Twitter account, you’ll know that I’m trying to think up ways to use 24 eggs before our trip overseas.  Last night was my first attempt at taking my 24 eggs on.  You’ll see my rather not attractive (though extremely tasty) results below:

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Above is Attempt #1 – truffled tortilla with caramelised onions.  It doesn’t look as impressive as it should but it had P swooning. I got the recipe from The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen, an amazing Spanish cookbook that I bought after backpacking around Europe – there are so many stunning and creative recipes that bring back memories like sitting in a Granada plaça overlooking the Alhambra, eating fried eggplant drizzled with honey and goats cheese (also in the cookbook).  This is the recipe online, but you can buy a copy of the book here.  This recipe used 5 eggs, so I’ve got 19 to go!

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Attempt #2 is a work in progress sitting in my fridge – brown butter sea salt choc chip cookies with nutella stuffing (recipe here).  I had grand ambitions to pull off making both in one night but I didn’t read the crucial step that I had to let it “rest” in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  It is now chilling out in my fridge side by side to the Nutella, destined to be stuffed into the cookies.  As you can see, the batter didn’t escape the wrath of my itchy fingers, so I attacked the cookie dough, guiltily texting one of my besties as I did so.  This recipe only used 1 egg, but come on!  Did you see the recipe title?!?!?!

I originally intended my next egg adventure to try the 60 degree egg to get eggs that look like this:

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The basic premise is to simmer the egg at 60 degrees (well, 62.7 degrees to be exact) for 60 minutes to yield lusciously viscous yolks.  However, this means I need a thermometer and I’ll be damned if I’m to battle the psychotic shopping centre pre-Christmas madness unless it’s a life/death situation.

So I may be reduced to settling for the Momofuku recipe of 5:10 eggs, which is boiling eggs for exactly 5 minutes and 10 seconds before plunging the little babies into an ice bath and carefully peeling them underwater.

So 6 down and 18 to go!  I probably have better things to be doing with my time, but…this is fun!  BRING ON THE EGG BATTLE.