Aug 22, 2017

On the Mend.

What a difference a day (and antibiotics) makes.  I've risen from the barely alive in truly miraculous fashion.  

I've even been down the road to get myself a coffee and pick up my shirts from the dry cleaners.  I had no idea getting your shirts professionally laundered and pressed was so inexpensive.  This could possibly be setting a lazy mum precedent for next year when Preschooler SSG starts kinder and a neatly pressed uniform will be required 5 days a week, most weeks of the year....

My appetite has returned.  It helps that my aunt and uncle brought their favourite brand of prawn crackers with them from Malaysia and fried them up for me too.  These crackers are worlds away from those fragile looking pink things you get from the supermarket or as a freebie at your local Chinese restaurant.  Many are made in little mum and dad businesses where the exact cracker recipe is a closely guarded secret.  Entire batches sell out on a daily basis and some producers are official suppliers of prawn crackers to the royal families in the area.

I could go on about these prawn crackers forever.  They're thick yet crisp with a nice toothiness to them.  You can taste the prawn in them as well as the umami.  I imagine they'd go down nicely with a beer or two if you're that way inclined.  For me, I'd just have them with a Coke Zero.

But for all my recovery, I'm still only around 80% at the gym right now.  It's good to be getting back into the swing of things fitness-wise but it's going to be a slow progress.  Getting so sick and so quickly has definitely been a reality check for me.

I'm irrationally exciting to be heading back into work tomorrow.  It hasn't been the same logging into work from home.  I'm missing the drama, lack of dull moments and the big personalities.

Not to mention the dressing up.

The Julia (front) and Jessica (background) dresses from Boden's current range.  Got them for 20% off.

I received my two Boden dresses in the post this week and I reckon this jersey shirt dress is going to get debuted at the coalface tomorrow.  The Julia dress in melon ($180 AUD)  has this lovely retro, kind of Gucci vibe and has just enough colour to perk up my pasty, post flu complexion.

Be well and enjoy that good health of yours!

Aug 21, 2017

Life This Week 21/8/2017: Really Sick.
I'm never calling it the manflu again.  I've just survived a particularly bad attack of it and I'm just glad to be sitting upright and out of bed this morning and feeling around 25% human again.

The thing about good health is that you tend to take it for granted until it's unceremoniously taken away from you like how it was with the flu and I this weekend.  I would have given anything to have my usual list of complaints to deal with rather than what I actually got dealt.  The endless fevers, aches, nausea and tiredness didn't leave me any room to find the joy in life.

It was so much effort to do anything at all and concentrating on anything more than taking panadol and antibiotics was beyond me.  I also wondered, more than once, when it would all just go away so that I could get my life back again,

I'm cautiously hopeful that the worst of it is behind me now.  I'm taking the day off work because the cough is still pretty bad.  Fingers crossed, though, that I'll be back to normal by Wednesday and back control of my normal, everyday, illness free life as well.

How has this winter been for you?  Were the flu gods kind?

Aug 17, 2017

Lovin' Life 17/8/2017: The Missing Ingredient.

This weekend coming up has been scheduled to within an inch of its life.  I've got family coming to stay, things to do, places to go and cakes to bake.  Surprisingly, it's the planning for the cake that's proven to be the biggest challenge.

via Google images

I've got my heart set on baking this lemon velvet cake and while finding the lemons and buttermilk has been a breeze, the same could not be said for lemon essence.  Can you believe that lemon essence doesn't even have a spot in the supermarket baking aisle anymore?  You can get bubblegum, cola, chocolate and coffee flavourings but not good old lemon.  It could be a sign of the times, that home baking is getting so fancy and celebrity chef inspired.

Just as I was shelving my lemon cake dreams, I had a thought.  Perhaps I could try the tray of essences and food colourings that I've had stashed away from all my past baking adventures.

Sure enough, there it was.  An almost full bottle of lemon essence.  No expiry date anywhere but it still looks lemon yellow and it definitely smells the goods so I reckon it'll be okay.

Have you had a lucky find in your pantry recently?

Does your local supermarket still stock lemon essence?

Aug 15, 2017

Under the Weather.

It was pretty much inevitable, I suppose.

Finding myself on my day off with a low grade temperature and all the symptoms Preschooler SSG had last week.

I've hastily revised the menu for dinner tonight.  It's going to be jelly cups with tinned fruit for me.

With bonus calories and caffeine from the drinks I had left over from when I was trying to encourage fluids with Preschooler SSG last week.  I am a bit feverish but I'm pretty sure that I got my hands on a pack of coke zero minis and not no sugar cokes, right?

I've got around 3 hours until preschool pick up and there's not much I can do really except wait for the panadol to kick in, sip some tea and fill a few virtual shopping carts.  I hear there's another Priceline 40% off sale on from tomorrow but the mental effort required to plan a haul is beyond me right now.  So I've gone back in time to ebay to track down some things I need for work.  I have so many fond memories of some very dodgy purchases from the 'Bay.  'Designer Inspired' coats that looked more like dress ups, polo shirts that barely covered my belly....  

The weekend was lovely though.

We made the most of the sun and took a ferry to the zoo and I picked up my first ever freebie paper.  All this time and I never knew to go and collect a paper from the holders at the main entrance.  Have no idea why Sunday was temporarily renamed Samday.  Can anyone shed some light?

On Saturday I celebrated both my birthday and the restoration of our hot water supply (tricky business with the front gas supply valve... much cheaper to fix than the hot water heater, thankfully).  I kept it classy by using china to hold my snacks.  To compensate for my ... acrylic (shudder) champagne flute.

After a winter hiatus, birthday party season is back in full swing.  Jungle Buddies in Five Dock is pretty much the perfect location for a play centre based birthday party.  There's plenty of undercover parking on site (with lifts to get you safely to the venue) and the play structure is both impressively tall and has a large foot print on each of its three levels.  Sorry no photos of the magnificence of the main play centre structure, my friends and I were too busy keeping an eye on the boys.  They've all suddenly decided that they no longer need us within line of sight as they climb and explore.  It's pretty hard work keeping track of them as they scurry up, down and around.  There's also a serparate secured area for the under threes.  Those were the days...

They run a tight ship at Jungle Buddies.  Each party was allocated their own table in the main area with platters brought out for the parents to enjoy as the children played.  There was then an announcement for each group of children to then move to their individual party area where games were played after they were served lunch.  It was all beautifully done and the food was the nicest I've ever had at a play centre.  The cafe was also very reasonably priced.

Have you finally caught what the rest of your household had earlier this winter?  Feeding that cold, starving that fever or doing it in reverse?

Aug 14, 2017

Life This Week 14/8/2017: My Ideal Meal.

I have a confession to make.  I've been a bit complacent about my diet over the last few weeks.  The cold weather has been an excuse for 'just a bit more' and because it's 'home made and vegan' portion control really isn't an issue.  Don't vegetables have close to zero calories anyway?

My clothes are feeling tight and I'm feeling unfit.  It's all a bit disappointing because I thought keeping up with my exercise would compensate for all that extra food.  It might have done in the past but clearly not anymore.

At the same time, beating myself up and wishing things were different isn't going to change anything either.  Small changes which will eventually become habits over time.  Those and non food related goals to celebrate my milestones.  I'm planning on making the milestones unrelated to a number on the scales.  Sticking to a small goal for a fortnight is what I'm thinking of instead.

Interestingly, it's not been the occasional treat days that have been my undoing but rather the daily almost mindless extras I've been adding without much thought or need.  Being confronted with a few extra kilos has made me think hard about the small things I can change each day in the way I eat.

Which brings me to what my ideal meal is at the moment.  It's every meal from now on.  Because I'm going to be more mindful about how much food it really takes to make me pleasantly full.  I can't do fad diets and I can't skip meals.  I like my little treats, I can't really live without an alternate day cafe coffee.

But I can make small changes to get back on track.  And stay there.


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