Friday, September 26, 2014

Blackmores Bridge Run

On the weekend I completed another goal and ticked off another thing on my bucket list - to finish the Bridge Run in under 1hr and run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Gaffa also did the same, but ran the full marathon instead of the 9km run.

Gaffa had been training for this for a long time and it finally paid off, as he finished with a crazy sprint to the finish line, in under 4 hours for 42kms. 

This same time last year I didn't run at all. Hated running and couldn't even run 500m without needing to stop for a breath. So it's been a pretty big year and we've both come a long way with our running goals - first the City 2 Surf and now the Blackmore's Running Festival.

I'm so proud of Gaffa. All the weekend long runs in the rain, I don't know how he did it! Lucky it wasn't blistering hot in race day, and started off with a light shower but ended up with nice sunshine to end the day.

Thank you also to my bro, Rave and SIL, Ms Tjak who ran with me during the start of the bridge run and also came along to cheer Gaffa at the finish line. It must've been a long day for them as they fell asleep quite quickly on the bus ride home. Hehehe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gaffa found this amazing gluten free chocolate cake recipe online. I made it for his work friends and made it again for ourselves because it was so damn good.

It's not "clean", but not as bad as some cake recipes (wishful thinking on my part). It uses brown sugar (which is possibly better than standard white sugar? - correct me if I'm wrong), and I use stevia in place of white sugar. It is decadent and with expresso used to melt the chocolate, you get that slight hint of coffee taste with the rich chocolate flavour.

It's quite easy to make as well. No need to use steam to melt the chocolate as the hot coffee does the job for you. Simple ingredients that you should have around the house, and just 60 minutes in the oven. Hey presto, a yummy chocolate cake.

Funny story...Gaffa took a few pieces to work for his work friends. Apparently he told one guy that there was no chocolate in the cake... He was totally amazed by this because it tasted so good. The poor guy was only 18, so young and naive. Lol.

Enjoy x :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Honeymoon: Langkawi, Malaysia - Part 2

By the afternoon Gaffa was feeling a bit better - thanks to the coconut water, the tablets from the resort doctor and some TLC from me hahaha.

That night we dressed up and had a romantic private dinner on the beach. We had picked a Malaysian style banquet and were seated at a secluded part of the beach watching the sun set over the ocean. It was just beautiful!! We even had our own waiter. They'd decorated the table with shells, candles and napkins folded into 2 birds kissing.

We started off with a few entrees: salad, a meat dish, soup and a cocktail. Then the main was a buffet of various Malaysian dishes of various meats, fish and vegetables, so much food that we couldn't finish it. Then there was dessert still to come! All the food was just so delicious, we felt so bad leaving so much on our plates. During our dinner the resort band came down to the beach and sang to us, it was so cool. They were really good - see my Instagram for a snippet of action! We ended the night in a food coma but still managed a big breakfast in the morning haha.

The hotel has a reef conservation section that are trying to rebuild the coral from the tsunami that hit a few years ago. We went down to the site and helped them out for a few hours removing the algae from their pond so that coral could grow in the best environment. They have a few students there that are studying from local universities helping out also. Guests can do snorkeling tours there and also volunteer to help with the other activities that are required to be done each day to maintain and rebuild the underwater ecosystem. It's a really good program and one of the reasons why we chose The Andaman Resort to stay at.

Later that day, I went for a facial while Gaffa sat overlooking the ocean reading the Tomorrow series on his iPad. The spa had a promotion where you received stamps for every x amount of MYR that you spent there. Once you collected enough stamps you were entitled to a free treatment.

That night we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant. It was a bit expensive for the size of the dishes, probably our least favorite restaurant; but still nice food. You can choose from teppanyaki or a la carte menu. At the end they gave me a grasshopper made from banana leaf. It was so cool, but I didn't pack it in my suitcase. Afterwards we went to the bar for some drinks while watching the band sing a few songs.

They next morning we booked a session of parasailing. The company sent a car to pick us up from the hotel and drove us to the beach. We signed the usual forms then boarded the boat which drove us out into the Andaman Sea for our 10 minutes of parasailing. We were asked if we wanted to be dipped into the water at the end of our session, and how much we wanted to get wet: feet, legs, nose... As you may have guessed, Gaffa and I opted for the extreme.

There were 2 other couples on the boat with us, so they were able to take some photos for us. Unfortunately, my phone died so I only have 1 photo saved. However the experience was awesome. We were hanging in the air by a harness, overlooking the beautiful ocean, being dragged along by a multicolored parachute attached to a boat. Gaffa had his GoPro attached to his hand so we got it all on video. At the end we were waiting for out dip in the water, hoping to get wet. But alas, we only got our legs wet. We both lent forward to try and get our noses wet. When we were pulled back up in the air I spent the rest of the time sitting in the harness with a major wedgie. But still was a lot of fun.

On our final full day we went shopping. Langkawi is known for its duty free shopping. Mainly perfume, alcohol (Gaffa went crazy with Glennorangie scotch) and  chocolate (Daim & Bueno). We came back to the hotel with enough to fill our extra 6kg of luggage we needed to reach our max limit, plus more.

Our last dinner at the hotel was at Tepian Laut. We had a drink in the bar first then headed to our table to watch the sun set. The food at Tepian Laut was probably one of my favourite places. It was similar to the private beach dinner we had - Malaysian style. We ordered 3 courses and a few cocktails. A great end to our week of luxury. We were so sad to leave the resort, not just because of amazing room but also because the people were so nice and attentive. We promised we'd be back again, but we'll be staying in the basic room... Unless we get upgraded again hahaha.

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