because: Melbourne coffee snob

Have you ever seen that movie: “It Could Happen to You”?

It’s where a simple looking, yet beautiful waitress is working in a diner and a friendly cop can’t afford to leave a tip so he promises to either return the next day and double the tip or split his potential lotto winnings. Long story short they win the lotto and fall in love.

This has never happened to me, but it reminds me of the time I had what is best described as a flirty barista. BTW, I’ve only ever won 9th division in Tattslotto and it was when I went in a syndicate with my immediate family. I made the executive decision to NOT split the winnings as I was the one doing all the leg work. It worked out well for me, I was up $17.

Anyway, years ago I worked at an office in Mulgrave and there was only one place to get a coffee and an over priced salad so, naturally, I was a regular. Every Friday the flirty barista would ask me to select one number for his lotto ticket. In return for my numerical services he promised me a share in the winnings. I’m still waiting for my cheque in the mail, but it sure did make me go back week after week for the below-average coffee. For me, it was all about the coffee experience, the hope of winning a fortune and possibly getting a good coffee at the same time.

I’m not one of those people who drinks Nescafe Gold. I also am never going to buy one of those coffee filters from the supermarket and spend my weekly coffee money savings on mortgage repayments.
I love a good coffee experience and I openly admit that I’m a Melbourne coffee snob. I should really get myself a tea towel to explain my status… and also it might help me do the dishes.

melbourne coffee snob

Before you read any further I should tell you that I consider Maccas coffee better than Gloria Jeans and I recently spent a whole weekend complaining about “country coffee” because it was too milky. There I said it.

Best coffee in Melbourne: this is hard for me but I’ll go with my top three:

Uncommon:  60 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181

Maybe it’s the indoor plants or the cute permanent residency seeking waiters but this place is gorg. Also the food. And the waiters… did I mention them already?! I usually order a second coffee and then make myself leave before ordering a third. BTW, very cute waiters.

Slater Street Bench: 8/431 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004

Anywhere between 8.25am and 11.45am there is a line out the door and around the corner. Uber trendy intellects serve you the coffee and always remember your name. Gold star! I’ve never had any of the sandwiches though, as they look like display homes – they are just too perfect.
*The benches out the front are designed to be sat on in groups. If you sit on the end of one, by yourself, it will flip up and hit you in the back of the head. This legit happened to me… twice. Pay attention but enjoy the delish coffee.

Best soy coffee in Melbourne: (because: I still pretend I’m a flexitarian sometimes)
Kettle Black: 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205

I’m happy to pay $15 for smashed avo on toast but I’m not crazy about having a deconstructed version where I actually have to smash the avo on my toast myself. However, I will order this as it’s the cheapest thing on the menu and they make the best soy flat white in town.

If I were a better human I would always make coffee at home with my newly-acquired coffee machine. I would also own a Keep Cup… But I’m not a better human, I’m a Melbourne coffee snob.

because: budget

I read a bloody good Mamamia article (You can follow the link here) this week written by a Sydney-based married millennial. Basically she documented her social, active, city living life by tallying up her total weekly spend. This did not include expenses just her ‘on the daily’ needs… and sometimes impulsive wants. I was gob smacked that her total weekly spend came to $1000 (remembering this is less expenses) until I realised I’m probably just as frivolous with my money. I decided to back track through my week and tally up my total weekly spend. Here’s what I got:
Monthly expenses:
Rent $800
Netflix $8.99
Myki $80
Phone $105
Health Insurance $72
Interweb $25
Adult braces $320
Total monthly expenses $1410.99

Get a coffee on the way to work and accidentally also order toastie $11
Pay for a hen’s day $40
Go into the city during my lunch break. Need to get back to work ASAP can’t wait for Uber, get a taxi instead $12
Grab a sandwich for lunch $8.90 (Literally just a turkey and dust sandwich – nothing else)
Go for drinks after work with my mate Bridget $12 (Thank god it’s still happy hour!)

Coffee $4 (Go to the good place as you’re a Melbourne coffee snob)
Get sushi for lunch then are disappointed when it comes to $17.00 (I should have just got a $10 souvlaki!)
Bottle of wine after work to drink while watching the footy, even though it’s pre season, with the boyfriend and his mates $12 (Don’t care if it’s full of sulphites, it’s on sale!)
Ice creams from the 7/11 on the way home from watching pre season footy $8

I’m determined to pack my lunch all next week. I need ingredients for avo on toast, tuna salad and almond meal zucchini fritters. Like an idiot I get everything from the organic section of the supermarket $41
On the way home from the supermarket realise I locked my keys in the flat. Housemate is overseas so have to call a locksmith. Pay $120 for the privilege of getting into my own flat.
Pay for another hen’s $100
Spend the night (like actually the whole night 7pm – 6am) at White Night, go for a walk at 3.30am to stay awake, get sliders from food truck (also shout my sister but eat her share of the chips) $16

Go to Maccas on way home from White Night. Devo when I discover they are only serving breakfast (I just wanted nuggets!). Get an Aussie breaky burger instead… and 2 hash browns $11
Sleep all day and don’t leave the house until 4.30pm spend $0 doing so (YES!)
Go to boyfriend’s for dinner, get the organic wine $18

Go to yoga but forget to bring a towel, mat, or water. Pay for class and hire of items $28
Need a coffee because I woke up at 5.30am to go to yoga $4.50 (get soy because I’m still pretending to be a flexitarian)
NEED new white t-shirt as I spilt olive oil on the one I just bought so have a quick look at ASOS… $46 later
Teach dancing in Yarraville after work and get an Uber home $23

Transfer money out of everyday account into my savings so I don’t spend my rent money – forget health insurance and Interweb is coming out. Get an overdrawn account fee $15 (… it used to be $9!)
Coffee $4.50 – Consider giving up coffee but I hardly eat meat I’m not giving up coffee as well!
Teaching in Yarraville again tonight another Uber $21

Coffee $4.50 (realise that soy is now $5.00 so just get a skinny flat white)
Go for a walk at lunch, fight the urge to get a Diet Coke… Get one anyway – it’s only $2.50
Read Mamamia article about Sydney woman who documents where her money goes over one week and realise this is a great idea. I then go to supermarket to buy coriander and tomatoes and end up spending $48
Buy a bottle of wine as well but finally sign up to Dan Murphy’s club card $12
Total Weekly Spend $619.90

I’m no accountant but it seems my lifestyle doesn’t match my income. Kind of like how my education doesn’t match my ambition or my crockery doesn’t match my apartment. I’ve heard about these people that track their spending and adhere to something called a budget..? And after actually seeing how much I spend weekly, on nothing, I’m likely to be implementing one. Maybe next week though…

I’m of the firm belief that money doesn’t buy happiness and having smashed avo on toast, e’ry day, is the ultimate meme, I mean dream.


because: upthemurray

For the past 23 summers I have been sweating my bum off in a dance studio, arguing over the musical dynamics of a boto fogo and whose turn it was to make a cuppa. Now, I’ve just discovered that there is a whole community of people that spend their summers floating up and down the Murray River. Hanging off the back of speedboats. Riding jetskis and laying on inflatable beds shaped like animals and colourful summery food products. Spending entire days in the water and under the sun, loving their lives.
Then 10 young professionals (alright 9 … I hardly consider myself a young professional) from Melbourne turn up and hire a houseboat.
Even though I swore that I would never get on a boat ever (EVER!) again after the time I was a sailor disguised as an entertainer #cruiseshiplyfe, when the idea to spend a long weekend on a houseboat was presented to me, I disregarded the promise I had made to myself. I bought a wide brimmed hat, a bottle of sunscreen and googled: “Murray River safety concerns”. It was the day after Australia Day and a few of us a nursing hang overs but we had three eskies full of booze, a seven seater spa and an endless catalogue of games accessible via an app to look forward to. We divided the grocery list between us, packed Cards Against Humanity in case we need any extra entertainment and carpool to Echuca.

Salad Kween

I was appointed salad things as my job for the weekend. I took it very seriously and prepped and planned what I would serve. I carefully calculated how much of everything I would need and I even considered people’s food allergies and taste preferences. That’s a lie. I just got enough vegies, goats cheese and a pre-made potato salad for everyone. I was showing off a bit when I kicked off the first barbie with a mango and avo salad and then backed it up the next day with beetroot, sweet potato (which I baked) and goats cheese salad. After my previous failed attempt to make scones for this group, one of the boys turned to me and said:
‘You’re on salads from now on… No more desserts for you.’

Instant coffee and tomato sauce

After a discussion about ingredients required for espresso martinis, we realised there was no coffee anywhere on the entire boat. Not even in one of those fancy shower scrubs. Two days and 10 Melbourne coffee snobs without caffeine could result in some devastating outcomes. We searched online for anywhere to stop and have a coffee but that proved difficult and we ended up walking through a caravan park to find a little general store that sells everything from coffee to fishing bait to brake fluid. We gather our supplies then make our way back to the boat with tomato sauce, instant coffee and three kinds of alcohol for espresso martinis.

Got bogged

I feel anxious about parking my push bike in a bike rack. So when it came to parking the house boat I just pretended to read my novel. But I was secretly watching intently and panicking on the inside. On the last day we stopped by a winery and while getting off the boat, avoiding the mud was near impossible I was still very excited to have a real coffee. Halfway through the tasting the waitress informed us that we were, in fact, parked in a space reserved for the paddle steamer. We claimed to have not seen the sign and a few of the boys go to move the houseboat while the rest of us continue to enjoy the wine. The boys eventually return after moving the houseboat twice and play down that it may be an issue on leaving. We all enjoy a great lunch and return to a bogged houseboat. Most people got behind the boat to push, except a few of us who are more concerned with uploading Snapchats and avoiding mud. Luckily a nice bloke on a jetski stopped to talk us through getting out of the mud otherwise we’d still probably be bogged up the Murray.
(no hashtag for this one)
We didn’t catch any fish and no one stayed up past midnight but it was such a ripper weekend. I never thought I would be the kind of person to spend a long weekend up the Murray, but maybe I am…
About a year ago, just after I started my new job in a corporate environment, I wrote a blog on personality types in the office. I described one of the “types” as people who save up to go on holidays to Thailand and up the Murray…

Now that’s me.
I’m that kind of person.
Loving my life.

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