Mar 18, 2019

Life This Week 18/3/2019: It's MY Favourite!

My favourite weekend breakfast for the cooler months of autumn and winter is ...

Top Top's Cafe Style (go hard or go home) Raisin Toast.  

Peanut butter and honey is my preferred topping.  I consider it a #winwinwin situation when we're down to just the ends of the loaf.  For some reason, the end slices are always pretty thick on the Tip Top Cafe Fruit Loaf.  End slice toast is one of my favourite things in the world - it's the perfect combination of toastedness, crust and warmed bread within.

More recently, I've discovered the magic of homemade cinnamon sugar as an alternative topping to my toasted fruit loaf.  It's a winning combination of sweetness, spice and warmth.  It also seems healthier (to my mind) than just caving in and having a doughnut instead.

What's your favourite weekend breakfast?

Do you love the end slices of a loaf of bread?

Mar 17, 2019

The Great Indoors.

Ah, the great indoors.  It was only a matter of time before we were reunited, wasn't it?

We have all this rain to thank for our reunion.

Because (yet again) it rained enough over the weekend for Noah to have floated his ark if he saw fit to do so in Sydney.

We visited the whales at The Australian Museum.

The exhibit is already a hit with young and old alike.  Besides the chance to get up close and personal with these eerie whale skeletons, I saw baleen for the first time in my life.

I always imagined it to look like that coir layer you often find in hanging plant pots but it actually looks like the bristles of a stiff scrubbing brush with a bit of bonus balayage happening.

An obligatory shot of the merch available to tie in with the new exhibition.

This view of St Mary's Cathedral is one of my favourite things about the museum.

I took full advantage of the approximately 2 hours of clear skies we got over the weekend by doing such things as raking up the frangipani flowers that have begun to fall on the back lawn.  I'm going to miss their tropical summer presence once winter hits us.

I'm in that honeymoon phase with regard to wearing long sleeves.  Soon it'll be sweaters and then winter coats.  So exciting, until it gets to that have to wear them stage of winter.

The kitchen has been a hotbed of activity during The Downpours.

Compromise baking has taken place.  I made a batch of carrot cake baked oatmeal for the week's breakfasts.  Looks and smells like cake but with the benefits of various hidden grain superfoods.  My insides must be a good twenty years younger than the rest of me by now.  Maybe someday my 'inner age' will shine through up around my face...

I've tried something new with this week's meal prep.  I've got a Greek meatball and roasted vegetable thing planned and found out about Romesco sauce which is apparently perfect with lamb.  Google provided several recipes and I mashed a few together.  Basically, I blitzed toasted almond flakes, parsley, a few cloves of garlic. red wine vinegar and a small jar of semi-dried capsicum (entire contents of bottle) together and voila!

Such colour, such aroma and so much flavour.

I'll be serving the Romesco sauce with these meal prep bowls of Greek lamb meatballs and lemony roasted vegetables.

Staying on the colour, aroma and flavour theme - I've just made my first batch of Jools Oliver's Wholesome Veg and Bean Soup for autumn/winter 2019.  It's a cooler weather staple at my place.

Image result for beyonce kale
via Google images

I highly recommend adding kale as a green along with spinach.  You don't even need the suggested frozen peas.  Kale adds a surprising crunch to the soup as well a pleasant bitterness to cut through the richness of the bacon and beans.

How's your weekend been?  As rain drenched and indoorsy as mine?

Mar 14, 2019

Lovin' Life 14/3/2019: Just the Right Thing At Just the Right Time.

I know the internet needs another parenting advice post like another hole in its metaphorical head but I came across this quote from Goldie Hawn the other day that I just had to share because they were such wise and reassuring words.  The quote came from this interview that Goldie gave after her daughter Kate became a mother for the third time.

Earlier this week, Kate Hudson welcomed her third child (and first daughter!), and Goldie Hawn officially became a grandmother to six beautiful grandchildren. While the loving Hollywood family has been making us swoon over their bond for decades, it's Goldie's recent parenting advice that is hitting close to home. During an event celebrating a collaboration with her daughter's Fabletics brand, Goldie sat down with People to discuss all things parenting and shared some of her greatest familial wisdom.
"We do the best we can as mothers," Goldie said. "Certainly, as a mother, I've made mistakes. We all do, we all will. But the most important thing is to stay authentic and true to yourself and hope that you show by example, not by what you say but by what you do."
Goldie and Kate's close relationship is one that so many mothers and daughters have idolized, and we're pretty much convinced that compassion, optimism, and warmth just runs in their blood, but Goldie explained she leads by example. "We hope our children will amplify the best part of us," she said. "I'm proud of my daughter. She has become a spokesperson herself for children's wellness, for happiness, all the things that she grew up with."
She added, "I'm not conscious of going, 'I need to be a role model.' Heck no. I am my own role model. I live by my own ethics and my own standards and my own sense of love. That's who I am. I think every one of my children, I can say wholeheartedly, has this wonderful attribute."
Her final advice to Kate and to all parents is to live in the moment and savor it all. "Each stage brings you a different kind of happiness, so focus on that," Goldie shared. "Sometimes they'll drive you crazy, but just focus on the joy of being able to do this at all." Now that is right! Read on to see recent photos of Kate and Goldie's adorable bond.



            Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's Modern Family Is Absolutely Golden

"We do the best we can as mothers," Goldie said. "Certainly, as a mother, I've made mistakes. We all do, we all will. But the most important thing is to stay authentic and true to yourself and hope that you show by example, not by what you say but by what you do."

Thank you, Goldie and the countless mothers and other wise women in my life who know just the right thing to say at just the right time.  For those words that encourage, support and give hope rather than those that preach and induce guilt.

What have you heard or read lately that was just the right thing at just the right time?

Mar 12, 2019

Tyres. Barbers. Trips.

The object of my affection this week is simply Saturdays.  The run of the mill kind where you don't have exciting plans and it's the middle of a school term so the day is punctuated by loads of laundry and the activities you are the designated co-ordinator and transportation officer for.

Waking up on Saturday morning just feels different.  The street's that much quieter and there's a sense of contained freedom in the air as everyone eases into the day's 'to-do' list.  Because that's a key difference between Saturday and Sunday.  Potential sleep-ins and slow starts on both days but there's somehow always more to do on the Saturday.  The sweet trade-off though, is that there's the whole of Sunday to enjoy after Saturday's semi busyness.

Saturday is the day for ticking off car related things like getting the tyres checked.  My local Jax Tyres outlet has a first come first served approach for minor things and I managed to be third in the line on this particular Saturday.  The guys are all awfully nice and efficient.  They have a waiting room with a flat-screen so Master SSG got to watch a bit of Peppa as we waited for our turn.  I'm telling you, nitrogen is the best thing that's happened to my car tyres.  I only need to stop by to get the pressures checked every 6 months or so.  No more do I have to struggle with service station air machines in between times.  Plus, top-ups appear to be free for the life of the tyres.

Image result for barbers chair the barbarian
via Google images.
As the only woman in the shop it just didn't feel right to snap and share a photo about what appeared to be men's business.  More than happy to 'Gram about my own HD time though....

With tyres at their optimal pressure, we drove down the road and deep into the depths of the Westfield car park in search of breakfast and the barber.  Master SSG definitely got a haircut ahead of this week's school photos.
Unfortunately, I think I might have okayed the barber to give him 'fades' because when the barber mumbled 'Number 2?', I mumbled 'yes' back when I should have asked what that meant.

Image result for fades for boys
via Google images
Oh, I get it.  That's why they're called fades...

I don't even know what 'fades' are except that you can get something that looks a lot like them with a Number 2 clipper rather than the regulation, school mandated Number 4.

This photo will forever be in my mind for future school haircuts.  I just have to remember Number 4 on the sides only and not all over because that would then be a buzz cut which might also be non regulation.  It's so complicated.

Image result for number 4 haircut length
via Google images
Brad (I hope this is Brad) modelling a Number 4.

Fortunately, Master SSG's hair grows really fast.  To the point that I think he's at least at a Number 2 / 2.5 today possibly edging to a Number 3.  Fingers crossed I don't get the call from the headmaster....

Onwards to less fraught things.  This Rose sampling station was set up in broad daylight in one of those endless wide walkways that you find at Westfield.  I was so tempted but I was post gym hangry and in the company of an equally restless child so I just walked on.  It looked very pretty though.

It's travel-mania in my neck of the woods at the moment.  It's a mere 37 days until I check in for my Good Friday flight.  I've never flown Virgin internationally so I'm very curious about what it will be like.  Expect breathlessly excited updates.  An excessive number of them.

I've started shopping for the trip too I'm that organized.  Mont-bell is a massive player in the Japanese adventurewear market and I had no idea until the weekend just gone that they had a presence in Australia.  They have a store in the city (in Town Hall Square) as well as an online store.  I got myself a whistle (never know when it might come in handy but I also hope to never have to use it in self-defence) and a flat pack water bottle.  Actually, it's more of a water pillow.  It's so light and looks as it if it will be easy to stuff into my backpack as I explore Boston.

I've booked myself in for a couple of tours of the city and I'm looking forward to being a cookie cutter TripAdvisor tourist this April.

I have a friend who's currently in Antartica.

She has just sent me these beautiful photos as well as a video of a whale bumping the boat she was on.  They're just breathtaking images of what I'm sure is a once in a lifetime experience for her and her family.  I can't get over the lighting, how close she is to the physical environment and the harsh beauty of the landscape.  I want to be there!!!

Master SSG is going to love looking at all of these.

Another friend is off to Madrid soon and another to Oregon.  We are all very grateful to our boss who's approved all our leave for all these wonderful adventures.  The excited chatter about airports, planes and destinations at work has been a happy tangent to go off on in the midst of all the work-related stuff.

But there's still an awful lot of everyday life to be lead until I get on that plane.  I'll end this post very much back in that world.  This is a favourite dinner of ours at the moment.  It's Nagi's recipe for Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs.  The sauce is perfect over steamed vegetables and rice too.

Take care and talk again soon.

Mar 11, 2019

Life This Week 11/3/2019: Share Your Snaps.

I love how Denyse regularly features 'Share Your Snaps' as theme in her 'Life This Week' blog link up.  It's a fun no-brainer when life's been non-stop fun and good things but it also encourages you to 'find the joy' when life might less rosy and a bit of struggle.  And then there's the in between.  When life's as steady as can be expected running a household featuring a six-year-old and as exciting as you can hope for your age and stage in life then 'Share Your Snaps' encourages you to just get out there and capture those moments that are a little out of your ordinary.

I took this photo at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium the weekend before last.  I was mucking around with the camera filters on my iPhone and I love the effects each filter bestows on images.  They seem a bit more 'artsy' than Instagram's offering or maybe it's my being a little Insta-jaded at the moment.  How dreamy and other worldly do these jellyfish look?

There's been a lot of coalface time these last few weeks.  This is the sign to the highest level of the newish work carpark.  I think the jeep going up a cliff reflects how you'd feel if you were to climb all the flights of stairs from the ground floor to get to your car after a full day at work.  Not for me, thanks.  I climb the stairs to level 5A and then get the lift the rest of the way.

Yup.  It's nearly work trip time again.  Less than forty days is the precise count.  Got my tickets, added Boston to my cities on the weather app and am making a note of how much shelf space I have left in my office for this trip's souvenir.  Not much by the looks of things but I'll see what I can find.

There's always something that catches my eye in the inner west when I'm driving along for 'out and about' day for work.  This week's visual is the window of one of the bridal boutiques along Parramatta Road.  Windows of lace, crystal and dreaminess as a backdrop to the endless traffic... it's always interesting being on the road during office hours.

Just call me a stickybeak.  I'm one of those people who goes to home opens for houses down the road that I have no intention of buying.  It inspires me to keep on top of my laundry and clutter and to strive for empty kitchen benchtops.

The price of berries seem a little friendlier than normal at the moment, as evidenced by how even the usually dollars blackberries were nearly sold out at Woolies yesterday.  As a berry very  high volume consuming household, I've been stocking up at every opportunity.  I wonder how long this will last?

It always amazes me how I manage to find something new each time I drive down that final stretch of road home from school pick up.  My latest photo worthy find was the detailing of this apartment block. The architectural themes along the road range from Art Deco, Mediterranean, post-war, plain fancy and this. I love everything about 'this'.  The colours, the arches, the windows and the plaster basket of flowers atop the side gate.

Mar 7, 2019

Lovin' Life 7/3/2019: Scenes From The Everyday.

It's all about The Every Day in this week's Top Five.  With intentional capitals to add a bit more excitement than strictly necessary.

I've been faithfully doing my exercises with my new foam roller from Aldi.  It's nearly time for me to start serious preparation for the City To Surf and I'm hoping to make it to race day without having to get taped and needled beforehand.

The mornings are cooler now and the sun is rising later so I'm making the most of my morning quiet time by snuggling on the sofa with my Kindle.  Apologies for the morbid text, I'm in the middle of the latest Dr Ruth novel.

In a roundabout way, I am using less plastic in my life.  Promise.  I have my collection of water bottles that I take everywhere with me, even overseas.  Ditto my reusable shopping bags.  But the one area that I've struggled with is in the kitchen.  As always, mum came to the rescue.  She's a big fan of using plates and bowls as covers for things in the kitchen.  She also gets through way fewer rolls of foil and cling wrap per year than I do.  I channelled mum this week and started using the lids from my Chobani yoghurt to cover bowls instead of cling wrap.  It's just so much easier than getting my roll of wrap out as well as being kinder to the environment.

Of course I've got a running-related photo for you.  This time, it's one that celebrates a different route I took this week on my hills challenge.  I took a right turn off the main shopping strip in one of the suburbs I run through and was rewarded with a cool and winding kilometre or two of well-kept footpaths, manicured hedges and ornate front gate fence structures for my viewing and running pleasure.  Except everyone else was strolling along at a leisurely pace.  So I had to respect my surroundings and follow suit.  Which is my official excuse because in reality I was just getting a bit tired at the halfway point of my run.  I'm so glad I found this road.  It's a keeper.

I've discovered a new series of podcasts for my drive to work.  I'm a long time reader of Refinery 29's Money Diaries and now there's a podcast series.  It's a mix of interviews with diarists as well as soundbites filled with practical measures for making the most of what you earn.  It's also incredibly non-preachy and entertaining even.

Have you discovered a new podcast series recently?


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