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Lunch Date at Matee Turkish Restaurant, Newtown

Sunday, June 21, 2015
Matee Turkish Restaurant Newtown Mixed Dips Platter
Matee Turkish Grill Newtown Sydney Food
Matee Turkish Grill Newtown Pide Sydney Food
Matee Turkish Grill Newtown Pide Sydney Food
Matee Turkish Restaurant Newtown Mixed Dips Platter
Matee Turkish Restaurant Newtown Mixed Dips Platter

Matee Turkish Restaurant, Newtown

When I am craving bread, in particular warm Turkish bread, I love to turn to a delicious Mixed Dips Platter. I convinced my boyfriend that to satisfy my craving I have to make my way down to bustling Newtown to find the famous Matee Turkish Restaurant.

Once inside I could smell the authentic Turkish food cooking in the front. We were escorted to the back to a sun basked room where we sat at a table with ornate cloths.

Hai and I ordered the Mixed Dips - it included Hummus, Carrot Dip, Babaghanoush, Chilli Dip and Tzatiki and a basket of warm fresh bread for only $19. I greedily tore apart bread and smeared generous amounts of freshly made dip all over, enjoying the rich flavors. My favorite were the Chilli Dip and Tzatiki.

We were nearly full when we realized I over-ordered because the Pides that came out next were of generous size. The huge Sucuklu Pide (Turkish salami, cheese and egg $15) and South King Street Pide (chicken, onion, capsicum, cheese and BBQ sauce $16) arrived fresh out of the oven on Wood Boards and it smelt wonderful. With a squeeze of lemon we tucked in. We ended up taking away more than half the Pides home but that was still a happy choice. I had to cancel my side of fries when I realized my ordering error. Everything was plentiful!

With full stomachs we walked out. I went into a Food Coma and strolled dazed onto the streets of Newtown. I was half focused when we spent the next forty minutes browsing the Vintage stores.
I will revisit whenever I have that fresh bread and delicious dips craving. Matee's quality and generous servings of food doesn't make it easy to forget and I'll be back again for sure (and I will order sensibly this time!).

Our Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Wedding Cake Rock Bundeena Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park
Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike Royal National Park

Bundeena to Wattamolla Coastal Track Hike (includes the Wedding Cake Rock). Photos by me and Betty, taken on a Sony RX100II Compact Camera

Towards the end of my Birthday week celebration (I had just turned 28), Betty and I managed to squeeze in a Coastal track hike from Bundeena to Wattamolla in Royal National Park.
Hiking is one of me and Betty's favourite things to do in this vast land, so to learn that it was a 16km track didn't faze us at all. Betty estimated it would take 6 hours - 3 hours there and 3 hours back.

Starting at 10am we started from the Bundeena Park Entrance and made our way down the sandy track. Unlike bush walking out near the Blue Mountains, this track was going to involve alot of sand, cliffs and sea views. This track is slightly challenging but overall, very easy.

 Within 45 mins we were at the infamous Wedding Cake Rock (see above, I'm sure you'll instantly know which photo it is). This Rock is an amazing piece of limestone that sits out from the cliff. When you get to the edge there is a steep drop and honestly I get goosebumps looking over it. It is worth the hike to Wedding Cake Rock, but I would do it on a weekday so you get the whole place to yourself.

Passing through, we walked along the cliff to two isolated and vast beaches - Marley Beach and Little Marley Beach. Time passes slowly and peacefully when you gaze out to the sea and it is a time for reflection. I thought about my age, and the life I had leading up to it. I sent out to the world a big Thank You for the freedom I had in my life so far. I was very lucky to have the choice to drive down here to have a leisurely 6 hour walk and at the end eat Tuna sandwiches with my friends. If you have even a shred of the freedom that myself and many people in this world possess, then you must continue to appreciate and respect it. It can be taken away from us at any moment.

We stayed along the coast and within three hours we made it to Wattamolla. There, we tucked into Tuna and Chicken sandwiches, rock melon, lollies, chocolate biscuits and Nutella Sandwiches. With full and satisfied stomachs we made our way back with the sun setting behind us. Three hours later we reached our cars by 4.30pm. I was exhausted and hungry again, but I still felt extremely grateful.

A Hello for 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Photo taken at The Star 16th December 2014 

Why hello! Hello, hello!
Ahhhh, it feels good to finally start a new post on my blog. The familiar layout sings to me, I've been reminiscing on older posts and I'm back to tweaking the html codes. Yet at the same time it feels a little strange - I've been away for so long that I can't even remember how to re-size my pictures nor the correct colour of my font.
My apologies to all of my readers and friends who have been checking my blog only to find that my last post was about 6 months ago. I am so sorry, but that time away was very important to me. It became apparent to me  that I needed to re-focus on myself and my new life. And now as I write this I feel like a new, inspired and happier Natalie.

So firstly, and most importantly, I quit my job at the casino. I was always wanting to leave this place whether or not I had another job lined up. Above is a photo of myself during my last few days (look at that happy face). Below is a message I wrote for my friends and family over Facebook, and I think it sums up how I was feeling back in December:
"I woke up today at 8am in an attempt to get back into normal 9-5, weekend off mode. I have been at The Star for 3 years and have been on nights for about 18 months straight. I am suffering with no sleep but I am grateful to be moving on with my new life chapter.
I want to thank the kind people who became great friends and who have had a positive influence in my life. There are those who have made me laugh, shared coffees with me, carpooled with, trained with, partied with and have made the long 10 hour 8-6 night shifts dealing stupid baccarat all the more bearable.
I find myself for the first time in a long time pre-making my lunch box (mainly spam sandwiches?) and ironing my own clothes and setting an alarm for 6am to prepare myself for peak hour traffic. And I've just realized I'll be sitting in an office for 8 hours without a 15 minute break every hour (gasp!).

Anyways, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am sorry I won't be suffering with you all, working beside you during the holidays... But hey, as a lot of people have told me, I found my golden ticket out of here so I will remain positive and keep moving forward.

Thank you everyone (yes, I even include the haters).Enjoy Night Shift. I will be back on my birthday to play just one squeeze Baccarat game and CHOIII and DIIINNNG the crap out of those cards in front of a fresh lumpy dealer. I need to get that out of my system tongue emoti 
I will miss you guys so keep in touch! You know who you are x
Natalie #19621 BJ BA RO"
 This was a turning point. I decided I didn't want to deal games for the rest of my life and to stress with night shift and constantly be on the fight to get my weekends. It just wasn't healthy nor fun. So I started interviewing for other jobs and eventually landed a dream job. I returned to Buying. I was an Assistant buyer at a fashion company a couple of years back so it only seem natural to go in that direction. I started at Costco Australia Head Office two days after I resigned from The Star. And I am so happy.

Another wonderful thing to happen to me is this guy. Hai. He waltzed into my life about a year and a half ago and changed it forever. He cares for me, loves me like nobody ever has, and always makes me smile. My life feels complete with him by my side and when I'm with him I feel at home.

The new job has improved my daily life. I finish work early and I'm home before its dark. It gives me time to catch up on my TV shows, read my books and play my games. Gym has crept back into my life and the exercise has given me a new energy boost. My sleeping patterns has improved immensely. My manual driving is stress-free because of all my solo-driving-practice. I used to carpool and it used to put pressure on me to perfect my skills.

And, these dogs. These dogs are my family and I love them. I have learnt to be more appreciative of these little fur balls especially since they have been great companions these last six months. All three have distinctive personalities that always cheer me up every time I walk through my house door.

And of course, my little blogging holiday was made better with Betty by my side. She has been there for me through everything. I am especially grateful for her presence during the hard time I had towards the end of my last relationship. Even though I ended things it was still quite heart-breaking to handle, but with no judgement and with a full heart she held my hand and never abandoned me.

So there it is, my six months in a nutshell. When I reflect, it seems my life has become quite routine, consistent and tame. I guess you can call it, and I say with amusement, quite 'corny'. And I love it! As spoken by the sincere Kate Winslet in the movie The Holiday: "I like corny, I'm looking for corny in my life". In hindsight she was making perfect sense. I like corny. And I have found corny in my life!

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