Top 5 Bad Times Of 2013

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A lot of people have said 2013 was a shit year for them. Bad luck, failed relationships, dead-end jobs and whatever else that could go wrong apparently did. It made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone. Because my god 2013 sucked for me. I’ve had some doozy years in the past (particularly 2006, 2007 and 2008) and 2013 doesn’t compare, but it still ranks pretty high in the shit-year stakes.

Not being one to focus on the negatives in my day-to-day life, this feels weird to list my bad luck, but here are my top 5 bad times of 2013:

5. My marriage struggled. Why isn’t this at #1 you ask?! Because, deep down I knew we’d be okay. But we had days where we were scared of where our marriage was heading. We had a lot going on this year, it really tested our marriage and friendship but in fact I can say it’s brought us closer together. My husband is my Partner In Crime, man.

4. We struggled financially. Hard. My FIL sacked my husband when our baby was born and we were on our own, starting a new company from scratch. But hey, we’re still here with a roof over our heads and marching on. But fuck it was hard times (and still is).

3. I was really unwell with post-partum hyperthyroidism at the start of the year. It affected me in ways I couldn’t even begin to describe to you. Once I got the diagnoses, I started homeopathic treatment and my levels quickly evened out.

2. We were blessed with a baby who didn’t sleep unless being walked in the pram. This equated to HOURS of exercise a day for me, and with the hyperthyroidism also on the scene it really took it’s toll (read: I headed for a breakdown). It was HELL. Apart from feeling resentment to my husband, and anger, anxiety and depression from sleep deprivation, I was a zombie for a good 6 months and barely have memory of my baby’s newborn life. We ended up going to sleep school (something I regret) but even they couldn’t help. Little Olivia just doesn’t like to sleep. And she still doesn’t.

And behold, the numero uno pitfall of 2013…..

1. We went through two bushfires. The latest bushfire on October 17th tore through my tiny town, trapping Olivia and I in it’s path. It was a terrifying expierience, and we honestly feared for our lives (which were really at threat). 200 homes were lost including many on my own street and the house behind me. We lost one of our sheds and had bits and pieces of property damage. We’re about to enter 2014 and it’s still having a daily impact on our town and ourselves (repairing, rebuild, clean up etc). We came off a lot better than so many people I know and I count my blessings and do what I can to help them but the lasting impact of a bushfire goes on for a long time. The silver lining is it’s brought our tiny community much closer together.

Some other craptastic moments to note? Many issues with the in-laws, and losing (but also finding!) a lot of friends. It was my sickest year yet – about 4 times in the space of 3 months. We didn’t celebrate Christmas (gasp). There was one more shitty piece of life that had to get thrown at me before the year is out. On Saturday we were happily driving along to the public pools to take Olivia for a swim at 8:30 in the morning and I get pulled over for the first time ever. Apparently I was driving unregistered for 3 weeks despite going into the RTA to register my car earlier in the month. I was given a $600 fine but I’ll eat my hat if I’ll be paying it! It was one of those moments where I had to laugh  (afterwards.. I was pissed off at the time!). It was just so fitting! One last piece of bad luck before the year was out. I should of known!
I blame the fire for a lot… Emotionally it took it’s toll on me. It also manifested in a physical way (stress, anxiety, illness, pain etc). I feel like I’ve healed a lot lately though. But it really showed how psychological stress can present into physical stress. We are amazing beings.
There is theory that 2013 was destined to be a bad luck year because of the number 13 in it. A quick Google of the meaning of 14 has shown that the coming year will supposedly bring passion, conflict and is associated with the constructed use of freedom. What does that even mean?!
You want to know what I think 2014 is going to bring? Whatever you want it to bring.
I’m excited about the new year. I don’t make resolutions. I do, though, set clear intentions of what I want for/from the new year. I read many predictions on my horoscope for the new year and every bloody website said the same thing – another shit year. I refuse to believe it. So here is what I’m making 2014:
A calmer, more positive me. Belief in myself and my dreams. Reaching my goals, working my ass off for what I want. Supporting the husband in all his ventures. Possibly a relocation. Plenty of good health. Laughter and love. House renovations. An abundance of money, paying off debt, becoming financially comfortable again. Blogging regularly. Blogging BIG! My homewares business becoming very successful. Precious time with my daughter. A love-filled marriage. New friends. New memories.
Lots and lots of manifesting on my dreams. 
How was 2013 for you? 
What intentions are you setting for 2014?

{Recipe} TWP Caramel & Macadamia Raw Cheesecake

Image from The Whole Pantry app.

“Healing_Belle” was one of the first “clean foodie” accounts I found on Instagram. She is a wonderful woman based in Melbourne who has brain cancer. Instead of conventional treatment (chemo etc) she decided to use food and a healthy lifestyle. Fermented, raw, super foods… she did her research and her passion for this field really shows, especially in her app The Whole Pantry (TWP). One of her recipes listed in the app is this raw Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake. I decided to make it for the first time this week and took it to my family’s Christmas lunch today.

I was pretty disappointed. I mean, Macadamias aren’t cheap!

Mum’s comments: “It’s boring, there’s no flavour.”
My comments: “All I taste is coconut!”
Hubby’s comments: “I like this. Yum.”

It didn’t even look the same. Mine was white. Surely I left something out… *re-read singredients* Nope. It’s all there. Even the caramel sauce was thick and pasty, not like a sauce/topping, and certainly not resembling the beautiful recipe photo above.

Usually her recipes are ah-mazing. The quinoa “meat balls” are really nice, and the biscuit recipe is one of the Hubby’s fave. I’m confused!

I’m sure she doesn’t want me to give out all the recipes on the app but this one I want to share because I don’t know where I went wrong. Make it, show me your pics, tell me I’m not just a shit cook?!
150g sunflower seeds
115g shredded coconut
60ml rice malt syrup or honey
1 tbs melted coconut oil

240ml coconut cream
225g macadamia nuts
120ml melted coconut oil
60ml rice malt syrup
2 tsp vanilla bean extract
1 lemon, juiced

18 pitted medjool dates
120ml coconut cream

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Grind the sunflower seeds and coconut in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process for a further 30-60 seconds until mixture is coated and comes together. Flatten mixture out into an even base of a 20cm spring-form tin. store in the fridge while making the filling.

In a blender or food processor add the ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes until creamy texture is achieved. Pour filling on top of crust, place in fridge whilst making the topping.

For the caramel topping blend the dates until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides when needed. Add coconut and whizz for 30 seconds. You can serve it with the sauce drizzled over it, or make it as another layer to freeze.

And that’s it.

Now look at mine… WHITE!

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Guess Who’s Back

Exactly one month since I last posted. I could write a whole paragraph about why I’ve been absent… busy, lazy, overwhelmed  etc. But it won’t change anything. You might not even believe me. On with the show, I say.
What’s been happening around my neck of the woods? Business, family, home. That’s what.
I’ve been throwing my all into my homewares store (link now on the menu bar) and manifesting big dreams on it. Okay, small dreams (I can barely cope with preparing dinner, I don’t need big dreams just yet). Lots of pretty stock has arrived for 2014 and the hardest part is reminding myself that keeping one of everything for myself won’t make money.
Since opening the store and shopping for products to sell, I’ve realized how much my taste has changed in the past year or so. If you asked me 3 years ago what I liked I’d say modern, sleek, black and white. Minimalstic. Clinical, almost. Now I’d say my style is bohemian, retro and lots of colour…. based on a modern slate 😉 Ever evolving, huh?
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I’ve been in a state of purging lately. At home, I mean. I’m sick of the junk, the toys, the random shit we don’t even use or need. Hubby and I are still on the purging mission, currently working on the big shed we have out back. It feels good. It feels cleansing. It’ll be a nice way to start 2014 – fresh and prepared.
I had a weird hiatus from the kitchen, opting for bought snacks (read: unhealthy) and quick easy dinners, usually from packets or frozen. I’ve been getting back in there lately though. I made a pretty nice green smoothie with spinach, blueberries, maca powder, a bit of agave, black sesame seeds and coconut water. The veggies have been growing like crazy too. Capsicum, hairloom tomatoes, cucumbers the size of your arm (seriously), and plenty of corn, lettuce and rocket. Love being self-sufficient!
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Night-weaning commenced last Saturday night. Olivia feeds to sleep with warm mumma milkies and has since she was 6 months old. On this long awaited night (you can only imagine!) she suddenly grabbed a dummy from the counter and laid in my arms and sucked it to sleep. She’s never taken a dummy, even as a newborn. Overnight I rocked her back to sleep instead of letting her feed. She didn’t ask for it once. Night two went the same way but with more effort to go back to sleep and a few tears overnight. Night three was better than night two but still worse than night one. Night four she had a rough time to fall asleep, many tears and screams but still, she didn’t feed to sleep. But overnight she became inconsolable and sleep deprivation was getting the better of me so she fed two or three times. Night five, last night, was horrible. For more than 2 hours she was pretty much hysterical, in my arms. In the end I fed her to sleep and let her feed overnight when she stirred. I felt shitty. We’d gone backwards. I caved. It had failed. Yadda yadda.Wrong. 8 months of feeding to sleep doesn’t get undone in 5 nights. Give the kid a break. Try again tomorrow night. Play it by ear. Day by day…
I do dream of the day we can have a bed on a frame again (as opposed to on the floor like currently) and be free to roll into any position I want. It’ll come, right?
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This blog has big plans for 2014. I have big plans for this blog in 2014 😉 2014 in general will be big. I feel it in me waters! You better keep an eye on it. And please leave me a comment. Show me some love?

Also, what do you think of the new look? I’m loving it sick.