Natalie and I head down south to the Peninsula during the Moomba long weekend with a couple of friends to the Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm. We spent an afternoon bent over in the hot sun going through thick overgrown strawberry plant leaves looking for the strawberries. It was harder work than I imagined it to be! It was fun for 10 minutes before I got bored and starting taking some snaps with my camera.

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Natalie splashing her million dollar smile before we entered the farm and perform free labour for the farmers. It was surprisingly crowded with families at the farm’s cafe and huge lines of people queuing up to pay to get into the farm.

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Natalie working very hard in the fields. I had trouble filling up my plastic box with strawberries so she took mine and helped me fill it up. The boxes weren’t cheap too at $8 per box. There were signs asking visitors not to eat the strawberries which I assumed was because there might be pesticide sprayed on them? The rebel inside Natalie and I decided to ignore the signs and did it anyway. I’m glad to announce we’re still alive at the time of writing this blog post.

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We rewarded ourselves with some strawberry sundaes after the pick. This was the only part of the trip to the farm I really enjoyed. I’m sure I’ll come back to Sunny Ridge for the cafe but not so sure about paying to get into the farm.

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We were supposed to drive down to Tootgarook beach after the farm but we made a wrong turn and ended up in Arthur’s Seat State Park and found a nice spot overlooking the peninsula and beaches along it. Breathtaking to say the least.

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Here’s Natalie pondering over what’s the meaning of life. Or she could just be wondering what she’s going to have for dinner later? We may never know.

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We managed to drive ourselves to Tootgarook beach (finally) and obligatory couple photo! Yay! I loved the beach. The sand was soft, the water was not too cold and it was nice to just waddle our feet in it. We brought our swimmers but didn’t feel like taking a dip

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Natalie and her friends from work. We had a BBQ dinner after our afternoon walk at the beach and deep down inside I was wishing I didn’t have to go into work the next day. Everyone had the Labour Day long weekend off but it’s not a university holiday. Argh.

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Starfish? Or decapitated octopus? Either way, I’m not touching it. There were also heaps of clear jelly like blobs littered around the beach that looked like parts of a jelly fish washed up ashore. Weird.

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It’s kinda sad that the Melbourne summer has ended and with it goes the warm weather. Trips like this to the beach would get scarcer as we hide indoors to avoid the harsh Melbourne winter. But nevertheless, trips to the water are always fun especially if you’re a kid or own a jet ski.

I am neither. Sad face.

BlueLounge Milo

20 February 2014

I’ve always been a fan of products from BlueLounge. They’re well built, have minimalistic designs and they take on a lot of the Apple philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well. The folks from MobileZap sent me BlueLounge’s Milo to review and the timing couldn’t have been better.

I’ve always wished Apple made a iPhone smart cover so I could prop my iPhone up on my desk so I could quickly check notifications on it without hassles and the Milo seems like it would be a stylish addition to my desk.

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The Milo is a very simple and nondescript looking stand. BlueLounge offers the Milo in black, white and aluminum plastic finish. The stand is not a huge stand by any standards and was surprisingly light out of the box. I was kind of skeptical if the stand would be stable enough but any worries was thrown out of the window when I stuck my iPhone 5 onto the suction pad.

BlueLounge made sure that the Milo stand would stay on any surface firmly by placing a huge suction pad on the base of the stand. There was no danger of the stand moving when removing or placing my iPhone on the top suction pad.

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Like I mentioned before, the Milo is quite a small stand so it is really only suitable for iPhones or iPod touches. I’ve tested it with my brother’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the suction pads held up surprisingly well so larger phones should have no issues with it. The largest device I tried with the stand was my iPad mini but it felt very precarious on the Milo so I probably would stick with my smart cover for the iPad mini.

With smaller devices, the Milo had no issues holding them up in portrait or landscape mode. One thing I wished the Milo had was an adjustable top suction pad so I could tilt my iPhone while on the stand for a better viewing angle. O

n top of that, I was out of luck when I wanted to charge my iPhone in portrait because the stand wasn’t built for this. The only way I could charge it was to have it on portrait mode.

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I really liked using the Milo stand. It looks great on my desk, the suction pad works very well and hasn’t lost any ‘stickiness’ in the two weeks I’ve use the stand and it’s one of the more affordable BlueLounge product.

But having said that, it’s not without its annoyances though. Even though the stand has a great design, it feels a bit cheap in the hand and I would have loved it if they made one in aluminum. Cable management was also non-existent on the stand but it really didn’t bother me that much.

The guys at MobileZap have the BlueLounge Milo in stock and they’re selling it for $24AUD so do check them out as they have assortments of mobile accessories like iPhone cases, iPad Air cases and lots more.

Melbourne Heart defeated Perth Glory at Albury in country New South Wales, 3 hours north of Melbourne in their ‘Play Football’ round last weekend. The game was played in 42 degrees heat and Melbourne Heart came away with a gutsy 2-1 win continuing their recently run of form which made the 7 hours round trip a lot more bearable!

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We were surprised to arrive in the city centre to find Melbourne Heart banners being flown on flag poles. Seems like Albury is really embracing Heart coming into town and playing an A-League game here. We don’t even see these banners flown near AAMI Park so it was kinda nice to see the gesture by Albury.

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Everyone was in the grandstand were sweating their balls off in the heat waiting for the game to start. A lady sitting infront of me was spraying everyone with water with a spray bottle just to keep cool.

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The beautiful Lavington Sports Ground in Albury with the most amazing back drop. There was a point in time during the half time break where we had horses galloping in the meadows and everyone in the grand stand could see it. Amazing.

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Both sets of players warming up before the game. The Heart players cut it really fine with warm up only showing up 20 minutes before kick off. They probably did it to try and minimize their time in the heat.

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Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham defender William Gallas now plying his trade with Perth Glory after his team’s loss at Albury. He probably could have prevented David Williams from scoring Melbourne Heart’s winner but an awkward bounce took the ball away from him into the goal. It’s also really weird to see a ex-World Cup finalist playing in a small country town in New South Wales.

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Perth players being clapped off the pitch. They put up a barely got into their stride the whole game and even though Steven McGarry scored a goal, they were barely a threat in the entire game even with Smeltz starting. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe is the long travels from Perth or maybe it’s Melbourne Heart’s new found form but nothing was going Glory’s way for almost the whole game.

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Aziz Behich, Melbourne Heart’s left back coming over to greet the fans after the win. It was Melbourne Heart’s 3rd win in their last 4 games. The mood with the club and fans had some even thinking we might get into finals now with our new found confidence.

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Wielaert looking bemused with our form so far. Actually, I think he was trying to convey to a fan that he wasn’t allowed to give them his top. Apparently, the word on the grapevine is players will get into trouble with the club if they gave their top away!

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Seems like Dearne and Andrew are good mates! In fact, Dearne speaks to every player that comes by us like she’s been friends with them for a long time. Natalie and I on the other hand prefer just a handshake, awkward smiles or a photo. We’re simple people really.

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The man credited with changing out fortunes, our interim coach Jon van ‘t Schip. It’s great the team is getting results under him and that he’s put his hands up for the full time job next season but I think with money coming in from Manchester City, we could probably afford a better coach from overseas.

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Natalie with our club captain Harry Kewell! She’s got a few photos with him already this season but it’s still always a thrill to see him come greet the fans after a game.

Our next match is against Wellington Phoenix and they’re on a similar run of good form so they’ll be hard to beat. I’m sure our boys will try their best so hopefully our good run of results will continue!

It’s that time of the year again where everyone gathers at Mum and Dad’s home for the Chinese new year eve reunion dinner and usher in the lunar new year together! I was looking to the meal the whole day and even skipped lunch just to make sure that my stomach has more room for dad’s delicious food.

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Dad was in the kitchen most of the day preparing the feast for the rest of the family as usual. I’m not sure if Cheryl is really helping in the kitchen or was she just jumping into the photos to make everyone think that she helped!

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My dad’s an amazing cook isn’t he? This is just a cold plate with some mock chick, tofu, duck, pork and preserved vegetables in the centre. a great way to start the dinner off as an entree.

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Fried mock fish with some mayonnaise on it. It might look simple but it actually tastes very good. It is kinda creepy that you can buy mock meat that are shaped into the actual animal they’re meant to be.

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This is probably my favourite dish. Vegetarian abalone with mushrooms and broccoli. The secret is really in the awesome thick mushroom sauce that my dad concocted and it ties in the whole dish really well.Yum!

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Vegetarian prawns with tomato sauce. I know these don’t really look like real prawns but they taste very good! I think I had about 4 of these on the night itself.

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Spicy calamari with vegetables. I think Natalie liked this one seeing she’s always favoured the spicy dishes. It’s funny how she’s the only Westerner in the family and loves spicy food more than anyone else.

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Barbecue sauce beef with sesame. Another very yummy dish that makes my mouth water just by looking at this photo.

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Our very awesome dinner table with all the food that Dad prepared on it. The family couldn’t have asked for a better meal for reunion dinner on Chinese New Year Eve. You’ll be forgiven if you looked at the food and thought it was cooked by a chef at a restaurant.

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Obligatory group shot before everyone digs in! It’s a pity Amber couldn’t join us though but she’s with her family in Taiwan and that’s what the reunion dinner is all about – coming home to your family for a meal if you’ve been away for the whole year. It’s a time for celebration, togetherness and welcoming a prosperous and smooth sailing lunar new year ahead.

It’s also especially special for Natalie and I because it’s our first Chinese New Year together and I think she was VERY happy about getting red packets from my parents!

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And as you can see, we almost finished the food because it was THAT good even though there was heaps prepared. After dinner, I hustled everyone to do a Chinese New Year greeting video again seeing that we had so much fun doing one last year.

Happy new year everyone and a very prosperous Horse year! Make sure you stay safe in the Chinese New Year festivities and collect lots of red packets!

The kind folks from MobileZap are at it again. After sending me Twelve South’s SurfacePad for the iPhone 5/5s, they have kindly asked if I wanted another accessory to review.

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If you have seen my previous post, you would have known that I’ve recently purchased an iPad Mini with retina display.

My computing needs have drastically changed in the last couple of years after the original iPad has been released. I’m using my iPad Mini more and more these days and have since sold my 15 inch MacBook Pro retina and relying on my iPad Mini as my main computing device.

In most parts, my iPad Mini does what I need it to do but like many have said before me, iPads are best for content consumption and not for content creation. This is somewhat true because typing long blog posts like these isn’t really the iPad Mini’s forte with its on screen keyboard.

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This got me thinking. I’ve always saw reviews of iPad/iPad Mini bluetooth keyboards, maybe I could get MobileZap to send me one?

A quick look on their iPad Mini cases page revealed that they had a wide range of cases for different use cases but when I drilled down further, I discovered they have a section for iPad Mini keyboards! Bingo!

MobileZap sent me a generic black iPad Mini bluetooth keyboard stand to review and I was really excited to start using it and do more writing on my iPad Mini. In fact, this review was written on my iPad Mini with the keyboard!

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The keyboard came with a very plain looking box and I couldn’t find out who the manufacturer was. But this wasn’t important to me. The important bits were if the keyboard worked well with my iPad Mini and if my fat fingers were comfortable typing on it.

First impressions of the keyboard was that it felt very sturdy and well built. It has a metal back that matches the finish of my iPad Mini so that was a nice touch. The keyboard connected to my iPad Mini via bluetooth very easily and before I know it, it was all set up and ready to go for my type test!

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The keys on the keyboard are even spaced out and even though the size of the keys are a little smaller than regular sized keyboards, I had no difficulty typing on the keyboard and had very little spelling or typo errors when using the keyboard.

The keyboard works well with any text boxes or apps that requires you to use a keyboard for input with minimal fuss.

The layout of the keys on the keyboard resembles a normal QWERTY keyboard but with some slight changes for iOS functionality. The keys were all very clicky and has decent travel between key presses and should be relatively comfortable to type on for most people.

There is a ‘home button’ key on the top left hand corner of the keyboard to exit whatever app you were in to return to the home screen and the top row of keys all perform different functionalities when you combine the keys with the ‘fn’ key at the bottom of the keyboard.

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The things I didn’t like about the keys were the position of the question mark key and that the arrow keys were very small and hard to use. Both caveats required me to rework my brain and typing habits a little and although it might not bother some, it did frustrate me a little.

The keyboard has a little groove where I could rest my iPad Mini in and it works well with both portrait and landscape with no dangers of the iPad Mini tipping over when I’m using the touch screen.

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I could place my iPad Mini face down onto the keyboard and carry it around in a clamshell manner but this adds quite a bit of thickness to the iPad Mini.

The keyboard is slightly thick compared to some other models like the Logitech Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case and doesn’t have the magnetic strip to hold on to the edge of my iPad Mini but the Logitech keyboard costs a lot more than the one that I was given to review.

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All in all, I really like this keyboard and open up a lot more possibilities on how I can use my iPad Mini for content creation and with it’s relatively small size, it’s easy to carry around in a bag without too much bulk and light enough to sit on my lap.

The keyboard retails for about $30 from MobileZap and they have a white version that would match a silver iPad Mini. If you want a no fuss bluetooth keyboard for your iPad Mini, I would highly recommend this unit. If you want more features, you can easily find more on MobileZap’s iPad Mini keyboard page with manufacturers like Belkin and Logitech offering keyboards with more functionality, albeit with a higher price.