Sunday, August 23

A post about stopping, and living

It happened so slowly that I can hardly say when it began. As is usually the case with these things, one thing simply followed another, and another, and another, until it hit me. Life had become too fast. Too full of worry, anxiety, new jobs, alarms, deadlines, appointments, rushing, working, guilt over projects and people I didn't get to simply because there were just not enough hours in the day. There is a German saying that everyone has the same number of hours in the day, we just prioritize them differently. I realised that the jobs, the chores, the work, it had crept in more and more until I was no longer prioritizing any time for myself, for the things that I love, the things that make my life fulfilling.

It had crept up on me, life had become too hectic. It was time to slow down.

I turned inwards to find the things that really matter to me, and how I could bring them back into my life as well as keeping on with the necessary grind required to survive in this society. How to do this without feeling that the things I love had become another list of 'things that have to be done' intruding upon the freedom and autonomy of my life?

I concluded that it's about being present in the moment, and deliberately organising life to contain windows of freedom, creativity, and self-love.

It's letting go of the anxiety that maybe everything won't get done.

It's quelling the fear of what other people think.

It's choosing to say no to some things, and choosing to say yes to others.

It's slow mornings.

It's using a teapot, and taking the time to enjoy each sip of tea.

It's lying in bed until half past 10 on your one day off because that quilt is just oh so snuggly.

It's taking the time to breathe.

It's stopping to feel your body, to feel how tired it is, and letting it rest.

It's taking the time to give yourself a nice time, instead of just what's next on the agenda of the day.

It's stopping to feel the life running through you, and the life inside others.

It's less phone, less Facebook, less worrying about getting the washing dry, and more life.

It's taking your 15 year old dog to the beach to slowly walk along, basking in the pale glow of the weak winter sun.

Taking an interest in what the sea has washed up after a storm...

...and noticing the galah foraging amongst the seaweed - odd.

It's laughing at your old dog's refusal to climb the steep sand cliff to return home, and carrying her up.

It's looking down the picturesque track, taking a deep breath of that cold fresh air blowing straight in from Antarctica, looking at your dog and feeling blessed to have shared this wonderful moment in time with her.

Happy living! :)

Saturday, May 16

"Do You Even Lift Bro?" Protein Balls Recipe

A coworker of mine was telling me about the protein balls she makes for her fitness-buff boyfriend and based on what she told me, I made my own up. I find these highly addictive! This recipe makes 15 and I ate them all in 3 days, probably not what you're supposed to do. But now, if anyone asks me "Do you even lift?" I can be all like, "Not really but I eat a lot of protein balls", and I'm pretty sure that gives me fitness cred, doesn't it?

Makes 15 balls

1 overripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp chia seeds
6 tbsp rolled oats
4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp golden syrup

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

2. Shape into balls and arrange on a baking paper lined tray. Put the tray into the freezer overnight. When protein balls have frozen solid, they can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the freezer for several weeks, if they last that long.

Happy eating! :)

Monday, April 6

An extra special Easter

This year Easter Sunday was extra special as it was also my sister's birthday. I was making her a pair of pyjama pants for her birthday but then I realised I'd cut the patter out with the fabric print upside down! Disaster! Being the Easter long weekend, I couldn't go and buy more fabric, so I cut up my mess and made this cushion for her instead. When the shops open again I'll buy some more fabric and then she can have a matching cushion and pyjama set! There was also enough fabric left over from making the cushion to make one for me, so that was nice. Silver linings!

Because I am really good, Easter Bunny still visits me every year. So on Easter morning I drove to my mum's house and after we did birthday presents for my sister, we had out Easter egg hunts! Easter Bunny leaves cryptic clues all around the place that you have to work out in order to find your eggs. It is a lot of fun and it makes you work for it!

After being stuck for a while on a few tricky clues, I eventually found my present (with the help of a few clues). I received this beautiful basket full of lots of chocolate, a toy, two candles, and four handmade stuffed carrots made by Easter Bunny *cough* mum *cough*. It was such a lovely and touching gift, I felt very special and loved.

For breakfast I had these warm hot cross buns, homemade by my lovely mother. They were excellent.

For her birthday, my sister wanted to go to a conservation and wildlife park in the Adelaide Hills. My highlight of the day was getting a cuddle with this beautiful Stimson's python. He had the cutest face and big puppy dog eyes. Absolutely heart-melting!

However, we spent most of our time feeding kangaroos, which never gets old. I loved the attitude of this male red kangaroo. Lounging around like a king and expecting his slaves (us) to come to him and feed him until he was satisfied. You also can't help but marvel at the sheer muscular power of these animals. Look at those arm and chest muscles! For all of my international readers, these male kangaroos are easily as tall as human men, this one's tail was as thick as my thigh. When you are around animals of this power, you really respect that they are in control and you feel very privileged when they choose to interact with you.

Mostly though, they like sleeping in the sun.

Well, ok, they like eating a lot as well!

Look at those beautiful eyes!

This young male was also very interested in my phone and the clicking sounds it was making!

I included this koala photo especially for you international readers, I know how you all love koalas!

We also arrived at the dingo enclosure just in time for the keeper talk and feeding, which was great. Dingoes are such great animals, it is so sad that they are so misunderstood and hated by farmers, just as their wolf brothers are elsewhere.

All in all, a lovely day spent outside feeding animals and eating chocolate.

Happy Easter :)

Sunday, March 29

A change is in the air...

There has been a change. While I used to be woken by the dazzling golden glow of sunlight streaming in to the bedroom, I now awake to the cold grey light of Autumn. The bedroom window is foggy when I open the blinds, and the mornings carry with them a crispness that turns your mind to scarves, warm cups of tea, and hot breakfasts. Warm breakfasts are something that I have been enjoying lately, slow, sleepy, cozy ones that entice me out of my snuggly bed cocoon on these chilly mornings.

A favourite that I have been enjoying is semolina topped with fresh fruit. I got the recipe here, from the lovely Kate over at No Meat and Three Veg. I halved the amount of sugar as I preferred it with a milder sweetness, and doubled the serving size, because I eat a lot! I just honestly can't get enough of warm semolina right now!

Another warm breakfast that I have been enjoying is porridge topped with amber agave syrup. This is a simple yet underrated breakfast. So warm, comforting, and filling, it's always a great start to my busy days.

Big cups of warm herbal teas have also been making an appearance at my breakfast table of late. I absolutely love this huge cup, its happy yellowness brings so much joy to my soul. I'm sipping from it right now as I type, and my steaming tea is enveloping me in a warm embrace from the inside out. Just what you need during these grey Autumn days.

Happy living! :)

Tuesday, March 17

WOMADelaide 2015

Yes it's that time of year again, time for me to gush about how much I love WOMADelaide and how much food I ate. Or is it? There was yoga, there was food, there was music and dancing (and this year there was also powdered dye throwing), but I decided that I didn't want to just repeat everything I wrote last year. Instead, I will just share the day in pictures. I hope you enjoy.

Happy living! :)

Wednesday, March 4

Apple and coconut muffin recipe

Because yesterday just really felt like a muffin baking day.

Makes: 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup coconut oil
100ml water
1 cup desiccated coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease your muffin tin - I used coconut oil for this. In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

2. Add apple sauce, coconut oil, and water, and mix until well combined. Stir in desiccated coconut until even distributed.

3. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-15 minutes, until the centre is springy. Cool in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Happy eating! :)

Tuesday, March 3


About 7 months ago I started running. I started by walking 200m, then running 100m, then walking another 200m and so on. When I first started, I could only do this 3 times before I was exhausted and had to walk the rest of the way. After a while I could do the cycle 5 times, and then I slowly built up the running parts until I could run more and more.

Running has helped me to achieve so many goals that I have set for myself, and it gives me such a sense of achievement and pride in myself. Recently I achieved my goal of running 5km without stopping (I actually ran 6km). This was me right after I achieved that goal, looking hot (it was 7:45am and already 30 degrees) but very proud and happy.

I have a favourite place to run, it's along a river, right at the end where it comes out into the sea. It is a really beautiful place. It's in the middle of a city and yet the land surrounding the mouth of the river is full of horses. Further upstream the land has been returned to its natural wetland state, which is really beautiful.

I like to run in the early mornings so I get to see some beautiful sunrises while running along this river.

I love the smell of horses in the morning! So relaxing, you can forget that you are in the middle of a built-up city here. Here you can just let go, and be.

The wetlands smell amazing too. Like water, and bark, and dirt, and life.

The wetlands are also home to a large number of native birds, which is great to see. On my last run I counted 20 species, including herons, spoonbills, pelicans, ibis, swallows, ducks, and a variety of parrots and insect and nectar feeders. The only ones brave enough to get close enough for a photo though were these moor hens. I also took a dodgy picture of some native swans to show you all, as Australian swans are black, and I know that this is an oddity in the rest of the world! You can see them down in the river in the bottom picture, with a spoonbill in the background on the right, and a group of cockatoos in the centre background.

During my runs, I run up the river, and then turn around and come back down to where it runs out to sea. This is the sight that greets me when I get there.

When I'm done, I sit down on a bench, have a big drink and some breakfast, and enjoy that post-run high. No drug could ever compare to that amazing feeling! Plus, how can you not feel alive when you're eating your breakfast with this view for company?

I used to loathe exercise, now I love it. I love running. I love this place, I love where I live, I love being alive!

Happy living! :)