I don’t know about you, but February really freaks me out. It’s that moment where it suddenly dawns on you that the new year is well and truly underway – and it’s usually a shock because I’ve done as little as possible up to this point. It’s a real kick in the backside. None the less it always surprises me.
The weirdest thing is it happens every year – this feeling, I mean. Not February. I’m not that thick!
Well, this February, Mrs Romance and I are determined to take this bull by the horns and hang on tight. Let’s see where it leads us!
Mrs Romance is exploring our back yard this morning. By ‘back yard’, I mean Hyde Park. And by ‘our’ I mean municipally. I’m just glad I get out of weeding this place. Wouldn’t fancy that at all. As it is, I love this park. It’s amazing what the city has packed into such a small space. If you haven’t been here for a while, it’s well worth strolling around the pathways and seeing what’s going on.
Mrs Romance stopped drinking coffee for most of last year. But 2015 seems to be her caffeine renaissance, and she’s tucking into her lattes like nothing else. This is a good thing as I no longer feel quite so guilty about my own thriving coffee addiction!
Today we’re thinking back on our most recent trip to the USA and thinking about what challenges people have to overcome when they visit the States. One thing we’ve found is – for people not from North America – the tipping culture there is very confronting, quite confusing and generally a bit of a nightmare.
Therefore, here is our rundown of how much when and who you should be tipping in the USA. There’s even a free one-page cheat sheet for you to download to make things more convenient!
For dinner tonight we’re having one of my favourites: cheese!
Every now and then we come to the conclusion cooking is for mugs and that cheese is much easier. We get a few different ones, plant ourselves in front of a couple of movies and crack open a bottle of red. Perfect for that mid-week lull.
I’m in my favourite city park – Macquarie Place – tucking into my somewhat cynical sandwich this lunchtime. It’s that point when you know you should have gone to the shops the day before simply because you realise your sandwich is made up of the two crusty ends of the loaf.
It’s just a good job I quite like the crust, isn’t it?
Tonight, we’ve made our way all the way to Redfern – what a hike! 😉 to meet our friend Sharon from SharonTheMakeupArtist.com. She’s introduced us to her local – the Bearded Tit small bar and gallery. It’s a cracking little pub full of beautiful weirdness. We fall in love with it instantly and decide it’s the perfect choice for this week’s Friday Drinks post.
Mrs Romance has given me the gift of colour this lunch time. No crust-ridden sandwiches for me today. No, sir. This delicious white bean, baby tomato, red cabbage and tuna masterpiece is really hitting the spot. Yum!
Today we’re so happy to feature one of our favourite hotels of all time on the blog. This is Casa de las Olas in Tulum, Mexico. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Tulum, which is a magical part of the world, make sure you stay here. It’s just devine.
Here are our thoughts on Casa de las Olas, Tulum. Yes, that’s the Caribbean you can see to the left of the hammock chair on our balcony. Sigh.
This isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from Casa de las Olas though. We’ll be showing you some more photos from our stay here very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
This morning we’re in Newtown. There’s a chocolate shop that needs our help. I know – I was confused about that too at first. Usually this type of place is trying to fend us away from their stock with a broom, but not today.
Cloud 9 Chocolate Cafe are having a special event this Valentine’s Day, and we’re here to help with a photo shoot. We don’t want to give too much more away, but we should be appearing in Sydney’s metro paper mX Thursday or Friday!
You know that feeling when you’re starving hungry, really feel like a big bacon roll but can’t be bothered to go out to the shops for one? Today, I am my own hero!
Look at this beauty. By the time I finish this whopper, I’m full and immeasurably happy.
By the time we’d finished driving around the west coast of the States late last year, we realised how much more confident we were on the roads in California than when we first drove here.
After talking about why for a while, we realised it’s because we’ve got a much better understanding of the road rules and the unwritten driving code locals follow than we did at first. There are so many nuances and eccentricities to navigating your way through the States on a roadtrip. We thought we’d give you the heads-up on what to expect.
Once again, we’ve written a free one-page cheat sheet for you to download at your leisure.
This evening we’re lucky enough to have been invited to Olympus’ latest product launch. It’s been kept a deep dark secret for months and months now, and the big unveiling was quite exciting.
The latest Olympus camera – the OM-D EM5 Mark II – is unbelievable. We use the OM-D EM10 and love it. If you’re looking for a new camera, you really can’t go far wrong with the OM-D EM range. Check out Olympus’ website for more info.
We’re super excited to see other friends here at the Olympus event. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger and Digital Photography School fame, Chantelle Ellem from the ever-awesome Fat Mum Slim, and of course our superstar agents Lorraine Murphy and Sarah Chegwidden from The Remarkables Group. It’s great to catch up with everyone and have a bit of a chat while we’re there.
This afternoon we’re on a boat!
The LEKKER Boats boat in fact. We’re off the Watsons Bay to check out LEKKER’s other arm – LEKKER Bikes , but until we get there, we’re just enjoying the afternoon sun, the spray of the harbour, and the wind in our hair… well, Mrs R is anyway.
LEKKER is a Dutch brand, selling and hiring out this little number – a 24-foot aluminium run-around. It’s designed with the Dutch canal boats in mind and is a lot of fun. It’s fast too!
See, this is what I mean. Mrs Romance enjoying that wind-in-the-hair feeling. I wonder what that’s like.
Today started out looking like winter. But now the sun’s coming out, the mercury’s rising and things are looking set for a perfect way to end the working week!
We moor up at Watsons Bay and head into the recently renovated Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. It’s so much better in here, I can’t even begin to describe it. And the food menu’s finally got things I would eat on it. We’re treated to a sushi boat and some delicious coconut water in preparation for the next – somewhat more energetic part of our day.
But if you’re in Watsons Bay, definitely go and have a drink and a bite to eat in the hotel. It’s got amazing views and a great atmosphere.
And we’re off! LEKKER Bikes have lent us some of their rides for the afternoon. Here is Mrs Romance sporting a Coral Pink Sportief, which you can pick up for around $500.
I have a go on the more modern-looking men’s LEKKER Amsterdam – in matt black like a Stealth Bomber!
We cycle down to Bondi Bowls Club and I’ve got to say I really enjoy the ride. This bike is awesome, and a really good price for $450.
Like their water-based colleagues, the LEKKER bikes are all designed to Dutch standards – and who enjoys cycling more than the Dutch? Check out the LEKKER website for more details on their bikes!
Now this is more like it! The sun’s out, the words are flowing and I’ve just poured myself a martini! In fact, I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve started getting my newsletter out every week since the start of the year – we’re now up to our 5th edition! Hurrah for small victories.
So if you haven’t signed up yet, fill in your details in our subscription form and you’ll be as up-to-date as we are!
After an annoying trip to the shops (nothing we wanted was in stock for some reason – though we did somehow end up with two giant Toblerones like we’ve just been to the airport!), we decide it’s time for lunch.
We’ve stopped in at PappaRich on Broadway for some Malaysian goodness. My roti with beef rendang is excellent, and Mrs R’s char koay teow really hits the spot too – though she’s just bit her lip hard enough to draw blood! I hate it when that happens. It’s like your body’s conspiring against you.
And that’s our week in a beautiful, Instagrammic nutshell!
How was your week? When was the last time you rode a bike (for me it’s been years!)? Have you got any plans for this coming Valentine’s Day? Tell us in the comments!